Amid the layoffs come another bad news for employees, especially from India in the US, as 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, leaving foreign workers in a limbo.

“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.

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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 labor market today.

According to the Google email, with a number of tech companies announcing reductions in their workforce (hiring pauses / layoffs), “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, however, said it would continue to support PERM applications already submitted.

Current PERM rules have been in place since 2005. 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.

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