Unrestricted Work Authorization in the US

9 11 2009

Green Card in the US

Green Card in the US

One of the biggest challenges for international MBA students in the US is landing into a full-time position in a company willing to sponsor their working visa.

Unfortunately, the number of companies willing to sponsor international candidates is very small (except in consulting).

The Myths

1) Visa sponsorship involves additional costs.

FALSE. This is only around 5000 USD, which is much less than the salary they will pay you (hopefully!)

2) It is difficult to justify that you hire a foreigner because the required skills cannot be found in the US.

FALSE. It depends on how specific you are about skills in the visa application. You cannot just justify it based on the requirement to have an MBA degree and experience in industry A, because there are thousands of American falling in that description. But you are much more credible if you say you need somebody with experience developing operations strategy in industry A in country B, with experience dealing with senior management and leading multi-cultural teams, with intra-preneurial experience, fluent in language A and language B, with contacts in industry C, with a diploma thesis in field D… Not surprisingly, the way you write the Visa application influences the result.

The Reason

The main reason why companies choose not to sponsor is because the US Government can refuse a visa application without any explanation. The extension of a previously awarded visa can also be refused without any explanation. Companies do not like taking this risk. Only companies with the resources to lobby the government adequately are comfortable with this risk. The real problem is that the Government is not reliable regarding visa applications.

On top of that, the TARP program (Troubled Asset Release Program) of the US government makes things even more difficult for international MBA students, especially those interested in Banking. The TARP program is a US government initiative to address the subprime mortgage crisis and strengthen its financial sector. TARP states that companies receiving funds under TARP cannot sponsor an international student if they make an American worker redundant.

The Long Term Implications

If you look at American history, this country is currently the number one in the world because it has traditionally sourced talent from anywhere in the world. If this practice stops now, this will no longer be the US in 50 years. It will just be a second range country somewhere in the North of the Gulf of Mexico.

Additional Resources: TARP

Read this interesting  article from scholarship for USA about the impact of TARP program  on job opportunities for international students.



3 responses

9 11 2009

I completely agree with you about the sponsorship process. Although, implying that they are not accepting foreigners is completely wrong, and historically they have always screened inmigrants.

And BTW, you can always apply to the diversity lottery ;)

9 11 2009

You are right. Some companies whose official policy is no sponsoring do finally sponsor.

9 11 2009

Hey! I am also sick of companies telling me they don’t consider international applicants without even looking at my profile. Good luck staying at the top without the best, USA!

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