Understanding who is willing to sponsor an H1B visa is critical, especially in times when the traditional H1B employers scaled down hiring. This article will save you time and frustrations, by helping you identify the positions that are likely to result in H1B visa sponsorship.
Companies that hire international students and sponsor H1B visas do so for one reason: getting the right person is worth the extra hassle for them. In their businesses, people are what sets them apart and hiring the right people makes the difference between winning and losing the race.
Hiring an H1B is like being in a long-distance relationship. Nobody chooses to be in one because they like the long-distance aspects. Such relationships cost more money, are more risky, and in general take much more effort. So why do many people choose to maintain a long-distance relationship? Because they perceive the significant other as better for them than any "local" available options.Compared with the local candidates, they consider the significant other as someone worth the hassle. Similarly with H1B, the companies will sponsor you because to them you are worth the extra time, effort, and money that sponsorship takes.
Let's look at the sponsorship from the employer's perspective. Imagine you like a candidate that is not authorized to work in the US. You need a lawyer to fill out a lengthy application and oversee the process. You risk that the application will not work out and the position will not be filled. You risk uncertain regulatory environment. You have to pay extra money. You have to disclose information to the government. The question you will ask yourself before you commit to the process is "sure, they are great, but are they really worth it?"
Imagine the employer with a scale weighing "For" and "Against". The "For" items are the rewards resulting from hiring a right person for the position, and the "Against" ones are the hassles associated with the process. Specifically consider the following categories:
- Familiarity with the process. Multinational Fortune 500 corporations often deal with situations where employees are transferred to the US office for some time, hence they have infrastructure in place to support the process. In contrast, a small start-up that has never hired an H1B before, will find the process much more daunting.
- Revenue per Person. In an Investment Bank a handful of people can bring tens of millions of dollars of revenue when they help to close a single M & A transaction. In that environment, thousands of dollars spent on fees and lawyers does not seem like much compared to the cost of not having a skilled analyst.
- Growth Rate. In industries like technology, the speed of implementation can often mean the difference between gaining a critical mass and being left in the dust by competitors. This is especially true for start-up companies and companies trying to organically develop new products. Again in such environment, a person with the qualities, you are looking for are usually worth the premium.
- Brain power and uniqueness. How important is having a specific person? How difficult is the job? On one side of the spectrum, you have "McDonald" type structure where pretty much anyone can do the job, if they follow instructions. On the other a highly quantitative hedge fund where a combination of brain-power, specific skills, and a cultural fit are critical – and qualified candidates rare.
This is not to say that an investment bank always sponsor an H1B and a start-up will not. Different companies perceive the the risk and rewards differently. For instance, many people were able to convince companies inexperienced with the process to sponsor their H1B. They were able to do so because at the end of the day these companies thought that having the right person was worth the hassle. The point is that when you are evaluating where to focus your job search and study efforts, you should keep the H1B factor in mind.
Look at your target industry and specific positions that you are seeking and evaluate them in the above framework. Put yourself in the employer shoes and ask yourself a question if you would sponsor an H1B visa for a candidate like yourself.