International students requiring visa sponsorship should research United States employers
and job opportunities well in advance. H-1B visa sponsorship program is designed
to facilitate hiring skilled professionals in specialty occupations. For
this reason, we recommend building technical skills that are in high demand to
be a competitive applicant.
Job Search for International Students
- It’s best to begin searching for a job at least six to nine months before graduation, and you should set aside three hours a week for the process.
- Every student’s situation is different. Make sure to consult with ISSS (International Students and Scholar Services) to discuss your employment plans, work authorization, visa information, OPT/CPT process, and immigration regulations.
- Know your current visa status and the H-1B visa process. Most organizations lack the resources and/or legal knowledge required to navigate the complicated visa sponsorship process. It is, therefore, crucial that you can clearly and confidently communicate this process to them.
- Research the employers and positions that have previously provided H-1B visa sponsorship.
Commonly Asked Questions
When in the hiring process, should I disclose my employment status?
Ultimately, this is your decision, and there is no one correct answer to this question.
Although it is illegal for a potential employer to ask about your race, nationality,
native language, or immigration status, it is acceptable for them to ask whether
you are authorized to work in the U.S. or whether you will now or in the future
require sponsorship for an employment visa. It’s important to remember that your
goal when applying to any position is to get past the initial screening of applications
and get an interview. You can wait until employers bring up the subject, but be
sure to mention it by the end of the interview.
Should I still apply if a job posting does not indicate whether the employer hires international students?
Often, employers may not have experience hiring international students. In these cases, it is your responsibility to educate the employers about the process of hiring an international student and sponsoring an H-1B visa. However, be mindful that you still may not get the job. Unless the job posting specifically states that international applicants will not be considered, you should not exclude any organization from your target list.
How can I find U.S. Employers that hire international students?
It is appropriate to contact employers through LinkedIn for more information on how they view international applicants. You should also network with fellow international students and alumni to gather valuable information on their previous employers and perspectives regarding their professional experiences.
- You can use GoinGlobal, an online tool accessible through Handshake with an H-1B section where international students can search for U.S. employers that hired international candidates in the past. In addition, GoinGlobal offers additional tools, including country guides for those searching for employers oversees, USA/Canada city guides for those searching for employment in the U.S. and Canada.
- You can use the U.S. Department of Labor H-1B Data for annual reports, which include top occupations for H-1B by state, top 10 employers sponsoring H-1B, and top occupation areas for permanent residency applications.