As the U.S. economy and job market continues to expand and grow, thousands of foreign individuals apply to jobs in the U.S. every year in search of better education and employment opportunities and overall a better life.
But where do you start, especially when you're living in a different country? Most people think they need to obtain a U.S. work visa, enter the U.S., and then seek employment opportunities in the U.S. However, it's actually the other way around. In order to be able to work and reside in the U.S., you will first need to secure a job first with an employer in the U.S. who is willing to sponsor you for a work visa. After your petition is approved and you obtain your work visa, you would then enter the U.S. to work for the employer that filed your petition. If you are already in the U.S. on a student visa such as an F-1 or M-1 and you have secured a job, your employer can petition to change your student status to a work status.
Finding a job is a tedious process so we've listed a few tips to help you with your U.S. job search:
Are You Qualified For the Job?
Oftentimes people apply to jobs although they don't possess the required work experience or the degree to perform the job duties. It's important to carefully check the requirements of each job position before you apply and see if you meet them.
Does the Company Sponsor Work Visas?
Before you apply for a job, you want to make sure that the company sponsors work visas. Generally, a company will indicate on their website or job postings if they sponsor work visas. If you are unsure, you should reach out to them and ask if they do. This will save you a lot of time as cover letters and applications take can be very time-consuming.
Understand What U.S. Work Visa Best Fits You
If you plan to work in the U.S., it's important that you understand what U.S. work visa you may be eligible for. The H-1B is the most popular for those who also want to eventually immigrate to the U.S., but if you are a Canadian or Mexican national, you may qualify for a TN.
Apply Directly to Company Websites
Many companies post their job openings on their website. If you already know what job you qualify and want to apply for, you can go directly to the company website to start the application process. Some companies require that you create an account if you apply directly through their site.
Apply Through Job Search Website
Some companies don't list their job openings on their website and some don't list all of their job openings. Instead, they post job openings on various job search websites such as Monster, Careerbuilder, LinkedIn, Simply Hired, and Indeed. These sites help companies efficiently select candidates they want to interview. These job search sites also help you, the potential candidate, look for multiple jobs you may be qualified for depending on your work experience or education. Also, if you want to search for jobs that are only in a certain location or within a certain salary range, job search websites can help you narrow down your choices.
Apply Through Employment Agencies
Depending on where you live, you may have employment agencies that might help you with searching for the best jobs in the U.S. You can also reach out to employment agencies in the U.S. to see if they can assist you with your job search. Most of these agencies require a fee.
It's important to do your research before you apply for jobs in the U.S. to ensure that you use your time efficiently and effectively. Job application processes can be very time-consuming and one of the worst things that could happen is to have a company respond back to you with "Sorry, but we do not sponsor U.S. work visas." Good luck with your job search!