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In a major setback to Indian techies, Google pauses green card applications

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In another major setback for Indian software engineers in the USA, tech giant Google has paused its green card applications for foreign employees amid the massive layoffs that are taking place.

The green card gives permanent residency rights in the US to an individual who has already worked in the country for some years.

Google has paused its Program Electronic Review Management (PERM), a key step in acquiring an employer-sponsored green card.

Google has sent an email to foreign employees, notifying them that the tech giant will pause any new filings of PERM.

“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,” an email from a company executive read.

A Google employee posted the email on Team Blind, an anonymous social networking site for certified IT workers.

A PERM application is a critical first step in the green card (permanent residence) process.

The process requires employers to demonstrate that there are no qualified US workers available for the particular role, which has been an increasingly difficult position for us to support given the labour market today.

According to the Google email, with a number of tech companies announcing reductions in their workforce, “there has been an increase in people looking for jobs”.

“As a result, we, along with other tech companies, have seen a notable increase in the number of PERM cases audited by the Department of Labor (DOL) for tech roles — which we believe is a result of more talent,” the email further read.

Google also said it would continue to support PERM applications that have already been submitted.