For international students hoping to establish long-term residency in the US, the H-1B visa is the most popular pathway for students to continue working and living in the US. As an international student seeking employment in Chicago, Illinois, here are the top 10 companies sponsoring H-1B Visas in 2023.
What is H-1B visa sponsorship?
The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that allows employers in the US to employ foreign workers in specialized fields. Given its popularity as a “dual-intent” visa, it’s one of the most popular pathways for international students hoping to pursue permanent residency. Due to high demand for H-1B visas, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) enforces an H-1B cap, limiting the number of H-1Bs that can be issued through a lottery system each fiscal year. Typically, H-1B visa applications are submitted in early March, with decisions released in late March and early April.
Why Work in Chicago?
Often referred to as the “Windy City,” Chicago, Illinois is the third largest city in the US with over 2.5 million residents. A city bursting with jobs in business and STEM, Chicago is home to one of the fastest growing technology hubs in the US. With a growing number of Fortune 500, technology, and start ups, Chicago is a center for jobs and internships in STEM. Like every city, there are pros and cons to working and living in Chicago. As an international student, here are some to consider:
- Transportation: Chicago’s extensive public transit system of buses and trains is considered highly reliable, affordable, and one of the best commuter systems in the country. Additionally, O’Hare International Airport is under an hour from downtown, making it easy to travel locally and internationally.
- Diversity: Chicago is known to be a widely diverse and multicultural city, and is ranked one of the most racially diverse cities in the US. Tolerance, diversity, and multicultural awareness are some pride points of the city. This means that Chicago is a great place for international students to build and foster community, as well as find a sense of belonging.
- Culture: Chicago boasts world renowned museums, talented theaters, deep rooted sports culture, and famous music festivals. The city’s food-scene is also widely praised, with well known Chicago deep-dish pizza, to a wide array of ethnic food restaurants. There’s something for everyone in Chicago, and it can be easy to find a sense of home – no matter your culture or background!
- Cost of Living: Chicago is considered to be one of the more expensive cities to live in the US, though still lower than cities like New York or Los Angeles. You’ll want to make sure that your salary will allow you to live and work comfortably with Chicago’s cost of living.
- Weather: If you are not used to harsh and cold winters, Chicago’s are brutal. Chicago winters include large amounts of snow and sub-zero temperatures.
- High Crime Rate: While Chicago is widely known for having a high crime rate, this does not mean the entire city is unsafe. It’s important to do your research, and know before you go!
Top 10 Companies Sponsoring H-1B Visas in Chicago in 2023
|Rank||H-1B Visa Sponsor||Number of H-1B Applications||Average Salary for H-1B Employees|
|2||The Northern Trust Company||238||$102,170|
|3||The University Of Chicago||228||$81,326|
|4||Tata Consultancy Services||222||$92,435|
|6||Cognizant Technology Solutions||160||$86,100|
|8||Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services||130||$183,138|
- Ernst Young (EY): Among other services, EY most notably offers consulting services to industries and companies worldwide. Another member of the “Big Four,” EY is often at the top of the list for number of H-1B applications filed.
- The Northern Trust Company: A wealth and asset management company, Northern Trust’s Chicago location is the highest of their locations for H-1B visa applications. Northern Trust has been headquartered in Chicago since 1889, and its clients include high net worth individuals, private companies, and institutions worldwide.
- The University of Chicago: The University of Chicago is one of the leading research universities across the globe, and the second largest private employer in Chicago.The University offers a wide range of benefits and services to more than 20,000 faculty and staff.
- Tata Consultancy Services: Tata Consultancy Services is an industry leader in consultancy and IT services, leveraging technology for business solutions. Tata makes concerted employee investments in innovation, inclusivity in the workplace, and research.
- Deloitte Consulting: One of the “Big Four,” Deloitte Consulting provides consulting for large industries, in addition to audit, financial advisory, tax, and legal services.
- Cognizant Technology Solutions: As a modernized technology solutions company, Cognizant works to generate human focused and intuitive business operating models.
- Accenture: Accenture is an international professional services organization offering services in strategy, consulting, technology, and operations. The company’s downtown Chicago office is considered an innovation hub and digital studio for problem solvers.
- Pricewaterhousecooper Advisory Services (PwC): Another “Big Four,” PwC values the overall wellness of their employees with a “Be well, Work well” philosophy. PwC offers tax, consulting, and business management services to clients across the globe.
- Northwestern University: Northwestern is a large research university, located just outside of downtown Chicago. Known for its innovative research and high level ranking, Northwestern has over 21,000 graduate and undergraduate students, 3,300 faculty members, and 6,500 staff members.
- Infosys: Infosys offers digital and IT consulting services, with nearly 400,000 employees across the globe. For the third year in a row, Infosys was voted one of the world’s most ethical companies in 2023.
Finding a job at a company that sponsors international students can be a tough and lengthy process. Some employers might not even understand the process of sponsoring an H-1B visa in full. So it’s good to start your search for jobs at companies who are actively hiring and sponsoring international talent in Chicago.
As an international student, there are great tools you can use to optimize your job search like the US Visa Insights tool on the Interstride portal. This feature allows you to search H-1B sponsorship records of U.S. employers, the top sponsored jobs, and the experience levels they most often hire for. Be sure to take advantage of Interstride’s tools so you can conduct a more strategic job search and maximize your chances of obtaining sponsorship.