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How to Get a U.S Employer to Sponsor an H-1B Visa from Abroad

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How to Get a U.S Employer to Sponsor an H-1B Visa from Abroad

Obtaining a job in the United States and securing an H-1B visa sponsorship can be a difficult but worthwhile journey for international job seekers.

The number of H-1B visas that can be issued each fiscal year is limited by congressionally mandated caps. These caps restrict the issuance of visas to 65,000, with an additional 20,000 reserved for those who have graduated with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. college or university.

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The annual H-1B Cap Lottery will run from March 6 to March 22, 2024. A total of 85,000 visas will be available for professional workers in specialty occupations. So if this interests you, you may want to start your application on time. But before we delve into the details, let’s look at some H-1B numbers.

USCIS - U.S Employer to Sponsor an H-1B Visa from Abroad

Recent Trends in H-1B visa.

Cap Fiscal YearTotal RegistrationsEligible RegistrationsSelections
2021274,237          269,424          124,415
2022308,613          301,447          131,924
2023483,927          474,421          127,600
2024780,884          758,994188,400

As of writing, USCIS received 781K H-1B registrations for FY 2024. This means 350,103 applicants had only one employer and job offer. Out of the total of 757,000 eligible H-1B registrations, it was found that approximately 409,000 applicants had multiple H-1B registrations. This indicates that these 409,000 applicants submitted H-1B registrations with more than one H-1B employer, as they had received multiple H-1B job offers.

The H-1B is competitive but this should discourage you if you’re eligible and willing to go through the process with adequate and valid information.

In this guide, I will give you a complete overview of the process, providing you with insights and strategies to improve your chances of obtaining H-1B sponsorship from U.S. employers.

Understanding the H-1B Visa

H-1B status is granted to individuals who have been offered a temporary professional position by a U.S. employer. To qualify for H-1B status, the position must require a minimum educational level of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field, and the H-1B employee must possess this degree or higher).

Before you commence the process, your employer is required to submit your H-1B Employee E-form along with the necessary supporting documents. If you are applying for an H-1B visa from outside the United States, you must also apply for an H-1B visa stamp at a US Embassy or Consulate before you can enter the country. If you are a Canadian citizen, you only need the H-1B Approval Notice (Form I-797) and your passport to enter the United States.

The processing time for H-1Bs by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is typically four to six months. However, your employer can choose to expedite the process by paying for premium processing. With premium processing, the USCIS will process your H-1B application within fifteen days.

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H-1B Visa Processing Steps

Here are three steps you must consider:

  1. Schedule a visa appointment with the consulate if applying from abroad.
  2. Prepare your documentation.
  3. Get ready for security clearance procedures.

Scheduling an Appointment for Your H-1B Visa

To enter the United States, you are required to have a visa stamp, which can only be obtained from a U.S. consulate outside the country. One of the requirements to obtain this stamp is to attend an interview.

The wait times for appointments and visa approvals can vary depending on your country of origin. To find out how long this process takes in your country, it is recommended to check the Department of State’s website.

Preparing Your Documentation

To apply for an H-1B visa, you will need to provide the following documents:

1. A valid passport

2. Original H-1B approval notice (Form I-797)

3. A current letter from the IU department that hired you. The letter must confirm your employment, title, and salary.

4. A photocopy of your H-1B petition (Form I-129), including the Labor Condition Application (Form ETA 9035)

5. If you have previously lived in the United States, you will need to provide documentation that you resided here legally. Examples include a previous I-20, an IAP-66 or DS-2019, and an I-797 from other employers.

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Security Clearance

Once your H-1B application gets approved you need to plan for security clearance.

The consulate may require security clearances before it will issue your H-1B visa stamp.

The consulate may require security clearances before issuing an H-1B visa stamp due to various reasons such as name, birth country, citizenship, field of study, or research. The clearance has varying time frames due to the number of applications in the queue.

Get a U.S Sponsor through the H-1B Visa from Abroad

The first step is to focus on building skills and experiences that are in demand in the U.S., increasing your attractiveness to potential employers is what gets you noticed. Update your resume to showcase your skills and achievements. Connect with professionals in your field and engage in relevant conversations to expand your network. LinkedIn is your best friend, utilize it.

Create a list of U.S. companies that align with your career goals. Research their work culture, job openings, and their history of sponsoring H-1B visas for international employees.

I usually recommend using tools to do your search. Here are two websites you can use to improve your search:

  • Use H-1B grader to find sponsors, salaries, cities, job titles, etc.
USCIS Employer Data hub - U.S Employer to Sponsor an H-1B Visa from Abroad

Utilize job platforms, company websites, and networking channels to apply for positions in the U.S. Tailor your application materials to emphasize how your skills and experiences meet the specific needs of U.S. employers.

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Highlighting Visa Sponsorship…

Clearly state in your resume and cover letter that you require visa sponsorship. Emphasize how your unique skills can contribute to the success of the company and how your international background brings diversity and a global perspective.

For instance, you could write your cover letter this way:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to inquire about the possibility of obtaining a visa sponsorship to work in your country. I am a highly skilled and motivated individual with significant experience in the field of [insert relevant field or profession here].

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards, [Your Name]

Attend Virtual Job Fairs

Participating in virtual job fairs and networking events that connect international talent with U.S. employers. Use these opportunities to make connections, express your interest, and inquire about potential visa sponsorship.

Be Prepared for Interviews

Practice common interview questions and be ready to address concerns related to your visa status. Showcase your commitment to contributing to the company’s success and how your skills fill a crucial gap in their team.

Negotiate Effectively

During the job offer stage, be transparent about your visa requirements. Negotiate terms and ensure that both parties clearly understand the sponsorship process, including legal responsibilities and timelines.

Work with an Immigration Attorney:

Once you secure a job offer, consult with an experienced immigration attorney (you should search with your location). They will guide you through the H-1B visa application process, assist in preparing necessary documents, and ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws.

SEE ALSO: 8 Ways  to Maximize Your Chances of Landing a Job in Canada

SEE ALSO: How to Get a Remote Job in Canada while Overseas

SEE ALSO: 10 Valuable Skills You Need To Learn Before Moving To Canada

Final Thoughts

Securing H-1B visa sponsorship from abroad requires dedication, strategic planning, and effective communication.

By understanding the visa process, highlighting your unique skills, and actively engaging with potential employers, you increase your chances of finding a U.S. job opportunity that aligns with your career aspirations.

Remember, patience and persistence are key in navigating the complexities of international employment and visa sponsorship.