The job search process is a little more complicated for international students and workers, who will have to secure visa sponsorship in addition to a job offer from an American company. The most common temporary work visa for international students seeking employment in the US is the H-1B visa, which grants foreign nationals permission to live and work in the US for up to six years.
How do I get an H-1B visa?
H-1B visas are reserved for foreign nationals working in “specialty occupations.” This means that the employee must have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent experience (multiple years of work experience for every year they would normally have spent in university). H-1B visas are granted for an initial term of three years, with the possibility of a three-year extension until the employee hits a maximum of six years.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) only issues 85,000 H-1B visas per year for for-profit companies – 65,000 visas for workers who have completed their bachelor’s degree, and an additional 20,000 visas for workers who hold master’s degrees or higher. There are certain exceptions – USCIS does not cap H-1B visas for people working in non-profits, higher education, or some research organizations.
However, these caps mean that your H-1B visa is not guaranteed.
H-1B visas are granted on a lottery basis, so thousands of applications are denied every year.
What does this mean for my job search?
As an international worker, you’ll have to secure employment from a company that is willing and able to sponsor your H-1B visa. H-1B visa sponsorship comes at a cost for most employers, who have to file documentation for the worker and pay the relevant fees. For this reason, some companies sponsor more H-1B visas than others.
In your international job search, it’s important to focus your attention on companies with a proven record of H-1B visa sponsorship.
How can Interstride help?
Finding these H-1B jobs can be a daunting task, so we’re here to take the guesswork out of the search for companies that sponsor H-1B visas.
Our platform offers a thorough H-1B visa sponsor database full of companies with a history of visa sponsorship for international students and employees. Filter by industry, experience level, geography, or role to see a list of companies that sponsor H-1B visas. Students can run custom job searches for top visa-sponsoring companies, or even check out an H-1B job map to see which cities are hotspots for companies that sponsor H-1B visas in certain fields. In order to guarantee our users full transparency and the most promising jobs in their field, we also include an H-1B salaries database with up-to-date salary information for top H-1B sponsor companies and salary ranges by company, role, and location.
A successful international job search hinges on finding companies that sponsor H-1B visas – Interstride can simplify and focus your search to help you secure H-1B visa sponsorship from a company you love.