How do I find an employer who's willing to sponsor me for an H1B employment visa?
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. We get this question a lot. We've a lot of foreign nationals who are either working or are going to school and about to graduate and they wonder, "How can I find an employer who's willing to sponsor me for a work visa?" Of course you have to recall that generally foreign nationals are not allowed to work in the United States, but there is a visa called an H1B employment visa that's available for people that work in specialty occupation. One thing to keep in mind is that not every job is eligible for a work visa. You have to have a degree in most cases or a very high set of specialized knowledge, but generally that's going to be reflected in a bachelor's degree or a master's degree and you are going to have to be in a field that generally requires a degree in that field. So not every job has the eligibility for an H1B visa.
But let's suppose that you're working in a field that does qualify for an H1B and you want to find an employer who's willing to sponsor you. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind is that the H1B process is hard, it's expensive, and it's complicated. A lot of employers haven't been through the process before, so if you are a foreign national and you're going to need an H1B employment visa, that might be a lot for employers to overcome or to get their mind around all the hoops and hurdles that they have to jump through in order to get you an employment visa. What I like to tell people is that you should look to see where people have sponsored before, and you want to find employers who are willing to sponsor you for an H1B. The way I think that you do that is you find people that have sponsored for H1B visas before. They've been through the process. They know the hurdles. They know the headache, and if you're an outstanding enough candidate, they're going to be willing to do it for you.
The way that I tell people to find that is a great website called myvisajobs.com, www.myvisajobs.com. If you go to that website you can search by company names, you can search by geographical regions, you can search by job, and you can see who has sponsored people in my field for an employment visa. It's really a great tool. There is a basic version that's free, and there's an expanded version if you subscribe. You can find all the employers in your area who sponsored in your specific field. I think this is really important, it really cuts down on you wasting your time with an employer who may not be willing to sponsor you. Sometimes employers just don't want to do it. They throw their arms up and they say, "We're not doing it." I think you're really banging your head against the wall if you're trying to start from scratch with an employer who's never been through it. It's not to say that it can't be done but I just think your chances are going to be much greater.
You might also consider downloading our free book and you can get that. It's called the "Staying Here Book." It's a guide for foreign nationals on how to find a job, and it really provides a lot of the tips and tricks that we like to tell our students and people who are interested in staying in the United States. You can download that for free. If you go to www.stayingherebook.com and you can download that book for free.
Definitely make sure that you're searching in the right areas, make sure that you're networking, find out from your friends what employers are sponsoring, find out from other people in your industry. You want to follow them on LinkedIn. You want to connect with them on social media. You want to see who are the movers and shakers in your field, and you want to learn a way to get to know them. You don't necessarily want to bum-rush them for a job in particular, but instead to ask them what are the trends you're seeing in the industry, who are the people that hiring, do you think it makes sense for me to reach out to this person or that person. You really want to have a network of advisors who are not people that necessarily are going to hire you, but are willing to give you good advice and to let you know about the field.
If you have any questions about this, about the H1B employment process, or about how to talk to your employer about sponsorship for an H1B, be sure to give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can download that book again at www.stayingherebook.com or you can email us at [email protected]. We'll be sure to get back to you. If you liked this video, please click the like button and share it with your friends. Also if you want to get updates as to our YouTube channel or Facebook videos, make sure you subscribe so that when we update with new videos, you're the first one to know about it. Thanks a lot. Good luck with the job search. Have a great day.