We try to answer your questions as fast as we can in the blog comments, it is just sometimes the response is so overwhelming it can take a while for us to catch up 🙂 In a way that is a good thing for us b/c we believe the information here speaks directly to all foreigners regardless if you are trying to come here to work on the H-1B visa, L-1 visa, E-3 visa, J-1 visa Work and Travel, J-1 Visa Internship or even come to study on the F-1 visa.
It did however give us an idea to document the 4 best tips we think will help you succeed in gaining employment with a US employer and then successfully applying for your US visa. Some of these ideas you might either be aware of before or have read them in earlier posts. Either way that is great b/c you already possess some of the best tools we believe for success in navigating the US Immigration system. So don’t think just because that some of these tips seem obvious that they may not be valuable. It is a culmination of our experiences and the experiences of the hundreds of people who comment and share their stories on here that allows us to document what we think is the best advice to getting your US visa (eg. H1B visa)
Additionally tips which should also both help you and save you money, which can be key in this expensive process, will be outlined and maybe save you unnecessary trips to an Immigration attorney, whom you would know if you have contacted one can be somewhat expensive to say the least.
OK here are our Top 4 Tips (in no particular order of importance) to finding work in the US and getting your US visa.
1. Come to the United States if you want to find a job – You may ask what does this mean but it literally means what it says. Unless there is something extremely unique and exceptional about your experience, almost no US employers will hire you sight unseen. Now for many people this means a significant risk and cost, leaving home to search for a job on the other side of the world with no guarantee of success but I can tell you that without this your chances of success (especially in the current climate) would be close to 0. Now some people they accomplish by coming here originally on another type of visa and then transfer from an F-1 visa as a student or via other types of US Visa transfers.
2. Apply for jobs in sectors that are growing, less well known and with an open mind to location – This tip in some ways is very controversial as I can even think of arguments to not support this piece of advice like if you scan the Top 100 Employers of the H-1B visa last year and see what sectors they are from. However this advice is for today’s climate and looking forward into the near future so as will explain is very relevant. Now the 5 sectors that I believe you should focus on are; IT, Health, Education, Online and New Energy. Each of these sectors have a lot of money being pumped into them are growing rapidly and require a wide range of skillsets from Engineering to Marketing to Computer Science to Medical to Business, etc. As for the location flexibility, many people focus on the big areas like New York, California and Chicago as they tend among the most desirable places to live. However currently these are the highest taxed places in the country, have the highest costs of living and the higher unemployment rates meaning you are competing with a lot of qualified locals for positions. Others parts of the country are more desperate for talent and not only could your take home salary be higher after expenses but you may also be able to gain a faster path to things like a Green Card.
3. Understand the US Job Interview – We actually wrote a specific post about how to best prepare for a US job interview but it is worth re-emphasizing due to its overall importance to your success and from hearing all the feedback we here from readers every day. The US job interview is a unique animal depending on where you apply and things that may be important back at home will never be mentioned here and other things that are rarely discussed openly at home like monetary issues are often initial points of conversation here. Often if you are applying in the more modern online sector the people interviewing may be just wearing regular street clothes and more interested in your answers to questions like “What is a good time for you?” and “What type of music do you like to listen to while you work”. These companies are much more interested in you fitting into their culture and enhancing a fun environment (assuming you have the basic competencies for the role) rather than all the awards you have won. This may be very different if you are applying at a large Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical company where they may test your skills in an interview to cope with pressure by asking very direct questions to assess your confidence in a competitive environment.
4. Be Over Prepared for your US Consulate Interview – The US Consulate interview depending on who you ask may seem to a simple process or like a criminal interrogation. More often than not the people who think it is tough are usually ones who are disorganized and do not have all their documents ready, fees paid and other things organized like paid return envelopes. Usually you have to pay a visa application fee at a nominated location PRIOR to going to your interview and have the confirmation receipt. Many visas like the H1B visa have visa issuance fees and these can also apply depending on which country you are from. US passport photos are also a different size to many other countries. Also if you have to prove things like maintaining a residence abroad that you use common sense and not cease all connections you have with your home country and bring evidence like bank statements, mortgages, business ownership documents, mention immediate family connections, etc. (more often than not you never have to show this but it never hurts to have it).
So this not some sort of magic recipe for success but it is the common wisdom of hundreds of successful foreigners who have found work in the US, successfully applied for their US visa and now live happily in America. Don’t ignore the obvious!!