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I got my degree, so how come I haven't been hired yet?
Common Obstacles | Resume Tips | Job Hunt Tips | Interview Tips

Obstacle No. 1:
The company doesn't want to sponsor, period.

Many employers have the misunderstanding that employing a non-U.S. resident is difficult. In reality, it is quite simple. Due to the nature of our business, we at iStudentCity.com employ quite a few F-1 students, and we have yet to find the hiring process to be much more complicated than hiring U.S. residents. But like it or not, most employers will think that hiring international students is complicated, if not illegal. Therefore, it is your job to educate your potential employers about how easy it is to hire an F-1 student. Here are some important facts that you can mention during the interview to help convince them:

I do have authorization to work here!

Assure them that you definitely possess the legal right to work (after your practical training is authorized, of course, or you at least have a confirmation with a receipt number). Say something to the effect of, "My practical training authorization allows me to work for at least 12 months."

No "sponsorship," please.

Try not to use the word "sponsorship," unless it's absolutely necessary. This word usually sets off an alarm to most employers and may lead them to think of tedious paperwork, complicated legal process, expensive attorney's fees, etc. Instead, try to say something like, "Yes, I have the right to work in this country for one year, which is renewable for another three to six years." "Renewable" is a much more friendly word than "sponsor"!

Hey, the option is yours!

The good thing (for them) about hiring an F-1 student is power. An employer can terminate your employment after 12 months if you don't perform up to their standards. The termination will never incur any lawsuits against the company for one simple reason: Without sponsorship from the company, the student will need to return home, according to immigration law. If you impress them during the first 12 months, an employer will be more willing to sponsor you to acquire an H1-B visa. At that point, the employer will still have the upper hand, since you will be less likely to change your job during the next six years. Changing jobs during those six years will require you and your new employer to start the H1-B application process all over again. While filing for the new visa, you cannot quit your previous job, since doing so will terminate your H1-B visa status and remove your right to remain in the States.

How about hiring me as an independent contractor?

Some companies may have an official policy prohibiting them from sponsoring a non-resident employee. In this case, they may hesitate to hire you, since you can only work for a maximum of one year. However, you can offer to work as an independent contractor, and take on well-defined projects that can be completed within one year. If you are convincing enough, they may consider you!

Find a job that will definitely sponsor you.

There are quite a few jobs that actively provide services to non-resident job seekers. iStudentCity provides a career placement service that will hook you up with employers who are more likely to sponsor you for an H1-B visa. Click here to find out how to submit your resume.

Unfortunately, some companies have stated that they do not have a sponsorship policy. You may find this on the web sites of many banks, for example. In that case, don't bother trying, since exceptions, if any, are rare.

Obstacle No.2: I failed my interview!

Looking for a JOB?
Immigration Updates
Immigration and work permission laws are always changing. We make it simple to keep track of the changes.
Read all about it here.

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