Tag Archives: employer sponsor

How Do You Convince a US Employer to Hire You and Sponsor Your Work Visa?

Foreigners both when beginning their job search and through the midst of applying to jobs and interviewing invariably ask themselves the question about how they can overcome the hurdle of broaching the visa sponsorship conversation. It is clear that whether this conversation is early or late in the hiring process or whether it is with an HR person or the person trying to hire you it is more often than not an awkward topic.

Ultimately it is topic that you can make less of an issue by not only understanding US Immigration better but also what different employers will more positively respond too and how you can fit in within their timelines. This differs across many factors;

  • Eligible for the H-1B or E-3 visa
  • The industry you are in and your job type
  • The size of the company
  • The demographic makeup of the workforce
  • Whether the company is likely to employ outside legal help
  • Education background
  • The level of your salary
  • How long the position has been open

H-1B or E-3 Visa
The H-1B visa is open to all nationalities and is generally applicable to most professional jobs (as well as fashion modeling) and it is for 3 years and is renewable once. Application season opens at April 1 each year and is limited to 85,000 visas each year and is currently in a high demand period so runs out quickly. There are also fees applicable for the application process. The E-3 visa is similarly for professional jobs but is only for Australian citizens. It is for 2 years and renewable indefinitely. It can be applied for at any time of they year and has no specific fees for the application process. There is a annual quota of 10,500 that has never been reached.

Industry & Job Type
Sectors like technology, consulting, finance, bio-tech and higher education are the biggest sectors for hiring foreign workers. They general have procedures for foreigners and many of the hiring and HR folks are aware of the general parameters. However few people are aware of the specifics so ensuring you are able to start in a reasonable period given the visa you are eligible for and any travel you may have to do to get it. Roles like Software Engineers and major experience working at big name management consultants, Big 4 accounting firms or major investment houses tend to be very valuable for larger companies in the traditional sectors to overcome the hurdle of being a foreigner. Usually it is harder for entry level roles as well given it is cheaper and more expedient to hire a local.

Company Size
Smaller companies especially in sectors like technology while shorter in funds and HR processes for hiring foreigners can often be a great place because hiring people like engineers can be difficult when competing with the likes of Google, etc. Larger companies with HR folks and possibly immigration lawyers on retainer may be more ready to hire foreigners, however a hiring person may from past experience have seen the extra time it takes to hire a foreigner vs. a local US resident. If companies small or large explicitly say we don’t sponsor or local candidates only, then your only real chance is if you know someone personally who brings you into the fold.

If a company, especially at the management and executive levels has a multi-cultural makeup where certain people are clearly foreign citizens, then your chances will generally be higher. However if that person is from the same country as you and they are interviewing you, they may hold you to a higher standard than the average candidate. If you want to know if your company has ever sponsored foreigners before then you can either look at our top employer sponsor lists or the macro US database.

Use of Immigration Lawyers
Larger companies tend to have immigration lawyers on hand, smaller to mid tier companies may have ones they have used ad hoc in past or aware of from past associations. More likely with smaller and early stage companies and others who have never sponsored a foreigner they won’t have a known legal help but if they really want you will likely want to make use of one for their peace of mind. Be aware that doing the H-1B or E-3 visa process can be done by you if your company wants you to save funds as long as you are aware of the various steps.

Education Background
US employers are in general unaware of almost all foreign universities save for well known ones like Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics or maybe Sorbonne. If you have a US education let alone an Ivy League, Seven sisters or other well known schools like Stanford you will be at a huge advantage, especially if this is a graduate degree. An unknown university and unknown company brand experience can be a tough hurdle to overcome unless you are applying for a very high demand position like Software Engineering.

Salary Level
For both the H-1B and E-3 visas, the foreigner must be paid a minimum of the prevailing wage is basically the average level a US worker is paid for doing the same job in the same locale. This is checked against official databases like ONET and is part of your Labor Certification Application with Department of Labor. Ultimately this is generally a case that the higher your salary level and thus your value and your title in the organization, the more likely an employer will sponsor you.

Open Positions
If you notice in your job search that a position has been open for a long period of time it can be worth trying to directly reach out, applying from a different email if you have applied before with no contact or find someone that can introduce you to the company. Vacant roles that are continually being advertised means a critical need for the company and a more willing need to expand beyond narrow hiring parameters like local candidates only. This can also help with salary negotiations in your favor.

Top 100 Jobs in US for Foreigners with Average Salaries

Recently we have tried to educate foreigners seeking work and permanent residency in the US as well as locals about the statistics surrounding Immigration including top visa sponsor company salaries, green card statistics, companies that sponsor green cards, locations in the US where foreigners are working, etc.

Today we want to look at the average salaries in 2013 for the various jobs certified by the Department of Labour via the ETA-9035e form. This is the form used mainly for the E-3 Visa, H-1B Visa, L-1 Visa and O-1 visa.

Below is the average salaries for the various professions around the US for foreigners. These LCA’s are for new, renewal, transfer and cap exempt visas. Typically about 3x as many LCAs are issued by the Department of Labor than visas issued. As you can see these are dominated by IT professions at the top where there is so much demand for foreign talent. Finance and Marketing are also in high demand as well reflecting where employers are finding it easier to find qualified foreign talent relative to the US local candidate supply.

These profession categories can be very broad and crossover with others in terms of job type and level. Ultimately it can provide a great directional idea about what jobs are available in the US for foreigners where employers are willing to sponsor and what the general salary level could be. It also should be noted that the salary levels for the same job will vary wildly depending on your location with places like New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area recording higher levels.

Occupation LCAs Certified Avg. Salary
Computer Systems Analysts 67,443 $74,078
Computer Programmers 53,266 $65,792
Software Developers, Applications 47,901 $91,715
Computer Occupations, All Other 22,088 $73,711
Software Developers, Systems Software 12,182 $100,581
Management Analysts 9,483 $85,290
Accountants and Auditors 9,087 $61,348
Financial Analysts 8,503 $94,609
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 6,909 $58,207
Mechanical Engineers 6,549 $76,987
Network and Computer Systems Administrators* 6,258 $72,580
Electrical Engineers 5,511 $86,407
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other 5,370 $136,316
Electronics Engineers, Except Computer 5,090 $94,563
Database Administrators 4,883 $74,455
Operations Research Analysts 4,780 $85,060
Physical Therapists 4,247 $66,745
Computer and Information Systems Managers 4,246 $121,560
Biochemists and Biophysicists 4,120 $53,850
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 4,066 $59,481
Industrial Engineers 3,459 $80,324
Civil Engineers 2,682 $74,164
Marketing Managers 2,666 $116,571
Biological Scientists, All Other 2,447 $53,445
Internists, General 2,336 $180,020
Computer Software Engineers, Applications 2,233 $93,304
Chemists 2,148 $61,326
Graphic Designers 2,125 $54,147
Business Operations Specialists, All Other* 2,061 $58,038
Statisticians 2,042 $81,602
Financial Managers 2,039 $133,916
General and Operations Managers 2,032 $116,293
Pharmacists 1,955 $115,519
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Care 1,709 $47,634
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Educati 1,686 $46,549
Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and 1,537 $74,136
Sales Engineers 1,502 $93,632
Managers, All Other 1,469 $101,356
Biological Technicians 1,441 $39,394
Chemical Engineers 1,435 $87,313
Commercial and Industrial Designers 1,391 $59,219
Architectural and Engineering Managers 1,345 $133,936
Engineers, All Other 1,320 $74,565
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary 1,295 $129,245
Lawyers 1,259 $151,704
Public Relations Specialists 1,210 $50,774
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 1,143 $52,115
Sales Managers 1,142 $103,611
Computer Hardware Engineers 1,129 $98,334
Occupational Therapists 1,082 $70,389
Medical and Health Services Managers 1,069 $75,567
Computer and Information Research Scientists 1,046 $106,513
Logisticians 1,039 $70,566
Physicists 1,023 $75,755
Family and General Practitioners 986 $174,800
Architects, Except Landscape and Naval 964 $60,149
Computer Support Specialists 956 $58,207
Materials Engineers 936 $82,492
Human Resources, Training, and Labor Relations Spe 929 $52,694
Chief Executives 899 $216,227
Business Teachers, Postsecondary 858 $115,783
Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postseco 831 $61,273
Biomedical Engineers 822 $74,010
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary 815 $80,261
Computer Software Engineers, Systems Software 803 $100,138
Life Scientists, All Other 795 $52,284
Materials Scientists 761 $68,147
Economists 752 $104,304
Dentists, General 728 $123,397
Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary 722 $65,050
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All 719 $67,631
Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers 716 $101,528
Microbiologists 685 $54,923
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, Al 648 $65,107
Multimedia Artists and Animators 613 $78,210
Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers 611 $82,230
Instructional Coordinators 569 $51,289
Budget Analysts 568 $58,584
Registered Nurses 565 $64,259
Pediatricians, General 562 $151,010
Architectural and Civil Drafters 561 $47,361
Teachers and Instructors, All Other 558 $40,885
Actuaries 554 $92,003
Cost Estimators 554 $65,680
Fashion Designers 551 $69,944
Food Scientists and Technologists 549 $62,395
Credit Analysts 546 $74,193
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/ 545 $44,898
Advertising and Promotions Managers 528 $98,842
Soil and Plant Scientists 527 $54,003
Purchasing Managers 502 $89,533
Industrial Production Managers 497 $100,925
Petroleum Engineers 488 $122,990
Coaches and Scouts 486 $40,456
Environmental Engineers 464 $73,802
Editors 454 $55,674
Speech-Language Pathologists 451 $69,197
Special Education Teachers, Preschool, Kindergarte 426 $52,079
Veterinarians 420 $75,066
Social Science Research Assistants 419 $44,552