Google stops Green Card processing for foreign employees just days after announcing the largest layoffs in the 25years history of the tech company.
The Green Card processing program, also known as Program Electronic Review Management (PERM), is a key step in acquiring an employer-sponsored green card for foreign workers.
In an email to all employees, Google said it will no longer process any new fillings for PERM by foreign workers till further notice.
In the mail, Google said, “Recognising how this news may impact some of you and your families, I wanted to update you as quickly as possible on the difficult decision we’ve had to make to pause new PERM applications. This does not impact other visa applications or programmes.”
Recall that few days ago, the tech giant announced massive layoffs where it said it would be retrenching about 12,000 workers.
Among them are long-term employees and those recently promoted in the company.
Google said it would cut out 12,000 jobs and in doing so, will be letting workers doing those jobs to go. That means the tech giant is cutting out about 6% of its global workforce.
In a companywide meeting to defend the job cuts, Google CEO, Sundar Pichai explained that the company has had many strong competitors in areas such as AI.
According to him, “I understand you are worried about what comes next for your work.”
“Also very sad for the loss of some really good colleagues across the company.
“For those of you outside the U.S., the delay in being able to make and communicate decisions about roles in your region is undoubtedly causing anxiety.”
Explaining the processes the company used to arrive at those it is laying off and those staying, the CEO said he consulted with the over 30,000 directors on the company’s board as well as with major shareholders of the company such as Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
Pichai said with 41% revenue growth, 2021 marked “one of the strongest years we’ve ever had in the history of the company.”
Following the growth, Pichai said they thought the growth would continue that way so Google employed many workers only to see a different development.
“In that context, we made a set of decisions that might have been right if the trends continued,” he said.
“You have to remember if the trend had continued and we had not hired to keep pace, we would fall behind in many areas as a company.”
What Google Considered before laying off employees:
According to Google’s chief people officer, Fiona Cicconi, the company considered the following criteria to retain and retrench staff.
“skill set, time in role where experience or relationships are relevant and matter, productivity indicators like sales quotas and performance history.”
Google Halts Green Card Processing For Foreign Workers (PERM):
Meanwhile, on the PERM application, Google said it would only process existing applications but not new ones.
With the number of people looking for jobs as a result of the many layoffs by many tech companies, it is no longer ideal for Google to employ workers abroad.
Consequently, the company has no need to process PERM for foreign workers since they won’t be employed anyways.
PERM is an application to obtain certification from the Department of Labor (DOL) for a specific job position in a specific location at a specific time.
It is the first step whereby a foreign employer demonstrates that there are no qualified US workers available for the particular role, hence, the need to employ foreign workers.
For the foreign worker to come fill up such roles, such a person will have to undergo visa processes at the US embassy which usually is not easy to come by.
So, the company employing that foreign workers makes the process seamless by processing the PERM for that worker.
Therefore, as Google has stopped this processing, foreign workers trying to get into the US under the company will have a very hard nut to crack.
What the new development also means for, especially African tech talents, is that the window for getting employment and moving abroad is narrower.