Source: Global Times


Only one month left If Sun Ling, who lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot find a new company to hire her in the US, she will have to leave the country, where she still wants to explore, as her visa is going to expire soon.

Sun had worked as a senior software engineer at the Google office in New York on an F1 visa and Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa since 2018. 

However, in early March she had to fly back to China to see her father, who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, before he passed away. Due to the spreading outbreak at the time, it took Sun 42 hours to arrive at her home in Loudi, Central China's Hunan Province.

Three days after she returned, Sun's father passed away. 


Following his death, Sun's company called her on April 9 and changed her previous 84-day-long family medical leave that was originally supposed to expire on June 1 to personal leave ending on April 30, leaving her only three weeks to return to the US.

The choice of returning to the US or staying in China put Sun in a dilemma. 

One last fight

Staying in China to find a new job looked like a good option to Sun, but after thinking about it for a while, she decided that she wasn't willing to give up everything she had worked for in the US and decided to return to the country for one last try. 

"I felt that my life and work in the US had yet come to a perfect ending," she said.

Although the US had banned passenger planes from flying to the US directly from China, the country was accepting passengers arriving from certain countries so long as they underwent a 14-day quarantine prior to boarding the flight. Sun therefore flew to Cambodia, where she spent 14 days in isolation, and then boarded a flight to the US. 

Although she returned to the country, that was only the beginning of the challenges awaiting her. 

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, related policies in the US have had a serious impact on global workplaces. 

On June 22, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was temporarily suspending new work visas, which barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the US.

With this, Sun entered the ranks of thousands of people looking for job opportunities. 

"2020 is a tough year! Stay tough," she wrote on LinkedIn.

For Sun, her biggest problem hasn't been finding possible jobs, but finding a company that can solve her visa problem. Currently, her OPT visa has become a major obstacle during job interviews as it expires on September 29.

"Maybe many companies are not willing to support people who work with OPT visas, and will give priority to locals or people who have green cards. At least this is my guess, because I once had a telephone interview, but when the company knew my visa was an F1 visa, they did not continue the interview," she said. 

Tough year

Compared with China, the employment situation for overseas workers like Sun in the US is much more severe as the pandemic has had a huge impact on various industries. 

According to data released by the US Labor Department, the total number of people applying for unemployment benefits for the week ending July 4 was 31.8 million.

Zheng Fanqi, a 27-year-old Beijinger, was fired by the IT company he worked at in the US due to taking too many days of leave. 

Zheng came to China in January to visit his family in Beijing during the Chinese New Year. At the time, he had never imagined that the coronavirus outbreak and the US' subsequent unfriendly polices, such as banning flights from China to the US, would prevent him from heading back. 

"Some people I knew were fired because the company's own prospects were relatively unclear and they were under financial pressure caused by the coronavirus. This was particularly true for small and medium-sized companies," said Zheng, and now he decided to hunt jobs in China.

The pandemic hasn't just prevented Chinese from working in the US, it is also chasing away some workers who fear for their lives. 

Ma Wenshu, a graduate from the University of Missouri who found a job in the US after graduation, told the Global Times that she has quit her job and plans to return to China out of concern for her health since the pandemic situation in the US has continued to spin out of control. 

"I don't want to live in a panic. I know my motherland is much safer," she said, noting that she is continually checking plane tickets online.

As of Sunday afternoon, 4.76 million people in the US have been infected with novel coronavirus, while 157,898 have died, according to reports.






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Chinese working in the US face difficulties

Source: Global Times


Only one month left If Sun Ling, who lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot find a new company to hire her in the US, she will have to leave the country, where she still wants to explore, as her visa is going to expire soon.

Sun had worked as a senior software engineer at the Google office in New York on an F1 visa and Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa since 2018. 

However, in early March she had to fly back to China to see her father, who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, before he passed away. Due to the spreading outbreak at the time, it took Sun 42 hours to arrive at her home in Loudi, Central China's Hunan Province.

Three days after she returned, Sun's father passed away. 


Following his death, Sun's company called her on April 9 and changed her previous 84-day-long family medical leave that was originally supposed to expire on June 1 to personal leave ending on April 30, leaving her only three weeks to return to the US.

The choice of returning to the US or staying in China put Sun in a dilemma. 

One last fight

Staying in China to find a new job looked like a good option to Sun, but after thinking about it for a while, she decided that she wasn't willing to give up everything she had worked for in the US and decided to return to the country for one last try. 

"I felt that my life and work in the US had yet come to a perfect ending," she said.

Although the US had banned passenger planes from flying to the US directly from China, the country was accepting passengers arriving from certain countries so long as they underwent a 14-day quarantine prior to boarding the flight. Sun therefore flew to Cambodia, where she spent 14 days in isolation, and then boarded a flight to the US. 

Although she returned to the country, that was only the beginning of the challenges awaiting her. 

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, related policies in the US have had a serious impact on global workplaces. 

On June 22, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was temporarily suspending new work visas, which barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the US.

With this, Sun entered the ranks of thousands of people looking for job opportunities. 

"2020 is a tough year! Stay tough," she wrote on LinkedIn.

For Sun, her biggest problem hasn't been finding possible jobs, but finding a company that can solve her visa problem. Currently, her OPT visa has become a major obstacle during job interviews as it expires on September 29.

"Maybe many companies are not willing to support people who work with OPT visas, and will give priority to locals or people who have green cards. At least this is my guess, because I once had a telephone interview, but when the company knew my visa was an F1 visa, they did not continue the interview," she said. 

Tough year

Compared with China, the employment situation for overseas workers like Sun in the US is much more severe as the pandemic has had a huge impact on various industries. 

According to data released by the US Labor Department, the total number of people applying for unemployment benefits for the week ending July 4 was 31.8 million.

Zheng Fanqi, a 27-year-old Beijinger, was fired by the IT company he worked at in the US due to taking too many days of leave. 

Zheng came to China in January to visit his family in Beijing during the Chinese New Year. At the time, he had never imagined that the coronavirus outbreak and the US' subsequent unfriendly polices, such as banning flights from China to the US, would prevent him from heading back. 

"Some people I knew were fired because the company's own prospects were relatively unclear and they were under financial pressure caused by the coronavirus. This was particularly true for small and medium-sized companies," said Zheng, and now he decided to hunt jobs in China.

The pandemic hasn't just prevented Chinese from working in the US, it is also chasing away some workers who fear for their lives. 

Ma Wenshu, a graduate from the University of Missouri who found a job in the US after graduation, told the Global Times that she has quit her job and plans to return to China out of concern for her health since the pandemic situation in the US has continued to spin out of control. 

"I don't want to live in a panic. I know my motherland is much safer," she said, noting that she is continually checking plane tickets online.

As of Sunday afternoon, 4.76 million people in the US have been infected with novel coronavirus, while 157,898 have died, according to reports.






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