How, Why & When To Share Your Immigration Status On Job Interviews

H1B sponsorship requirements

No immigrant working in the U.S. can ignore the frenzied debates taking place in Washington, D.C., lately: Will spouses of H-1B visa holders lose authorization to work in the U.S.? Will politicians gut the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program that gives international students opportunities to work here before and after they graduate?

Who will be the winners and losers if the diversity visa lottery is replaced with a “merit-based” system? What will happen to the estimated 800,000 Dreamers whose legal status the Trump Administration threw into doubt last September, and Congress doesn’t seem willing to clarify very soon?

If you’re applying for jobs, you might hesitate to talk openly about your immigration status in this environment. But while there’s absolutely a need to use discretion, I’d suggest job seekers own their immigrant experiences with pride. Many years ago, I emigrated from Chile to pursue an education, build a career, and ultimately start a business.

My company employs five people on similar journeys: two OPTs, one H-1B transfer, one standard H-1B, and one STEM OPT. Immigration issues matter a lot to our team. For H1B Visa Process Visit Orphosys Corp.

To be sure, I’m not a lawyer, and this article is no substitute for qualified legal advice. But as an immigrant and an employer of immigrants, I’ve seen firsthand how valuable a job seeker’s immigration experience can prove in the workforce.

If you have an H-1B visa and hope to transfer to a new company, or you’re seeking an employer who will sponsor your OPT visa, here’s how I’d suggest handling the hiring process.

Before you land an interview 

When you apply for a job, employers are generally not legally permitted to ask about your immigration status or to discriminate on the basis of national origin, among other things.

However, organizations do need to verify candidates’ work eligibility after extending a job offer–and you’ll sometimes see employers jump the gun as a result, including a tick-box or drop-down menu to that effect in many online job applications.

If the field isn’t mandatory, leave it blank; if it is, look for “other” and, if you’re especially inclined to, you can write an explanation (e.g., “I am eligible for OPT,” or “I have an H-1B I could transfer.”) Remember that if you have a green card or an approved H-1B, you can mark, “Yes, I am authorized to work in the U.S.”

But there’s really no upside to sharing your immigration status before landing an interview if you can avoid it. Especially at larger employers, the recruiter or resume screener who’s most likely to see your application first will be looking for every possible reason to filter candidates out (even if that means discriminating illegally). If you need an H-1B transfer or OPT sponsorship, they may reason that you’re too much of a hassle.

During the job interview

Let’s be real: People sense when you’re not from the U.S. I’m Latina and have an accent. When people ask, “Where are you from?” they’re not wondering which D.C. suburb I live in. Here, too, the letter of the law may not spare you from having to field questions you shouldn’t have to in the first place.To know more importance on H1B Visa visit Emikolo

Even so, don’t talk about your immigration status at the beginning of an interview (here are a few pointers on how to deflect queries about off-limits topics). Sell yourself first.

Focus on your STEM skills, your internships, your emotional intelligence, that artificial intelligence thesis you wrote–whatever it is that you bring to the table. If you get a positive signal from the decision maker, share your immigrant status near the end of the interview.

Whatever you do, don’t treat your H-1B or OPT status as a negative–wrap your immigration status into your larger story. People know that many immigrants come to this country with little money, no connections, language barriers, little family support, and other disadvantages.

Your approach to surmounting those obstacles is valuable experience! You’re willing to take risks and strike out independently. Chances are, being here isn’t something you take for granted, and you’re interviewing because you want to be here and build a legacy. Multigenerational Americans might have good stories, but they can’t tell that one.

You want to work someplace where you can be authentic and bring your whole self to work. You need to test whether prospective employers offer a work culture actually encourages that, so be transparent–just not too soon.

Be Picky & Proud

Are there trade-offs to revealing your immigrant status too early, or even at all? In some cases, certainly. Employers could turn you down because they don’t want to invest in your H-1B transfer, which can cost several thousand dollars depending on the circumstances.

But if the organization doesn’t feel you’re worth that, do you want to work there anyway? Keep in mind that as an H-1B or OPT visa holder, job hopping is stressful and not a good strategy for becoming a permanent resident. You’re looking for a long-term role–and you deserve one.

Maybe you fear that employers will try to negotiate a lower salary based on your immigrant status. Again, you don’t want to work for a company that tries that. Remember that the U.S. has a severe deficit of STEM workers, and international students account for an overwhelming majority of the STEM graduate degrees earned at U.S. universities.

The current $60,000 minimum salary for “exempt” H-1B workers isn’t necessarily your market value (consider that figure may increase to $90,000). In 2015, there were roughly 530,000 open computing jobs in the U.S., yet just 60,000 computer science grads.

Anyone who runs a company knows that finding qualified technical talent is challenging. Have some faith in your skill set. (If finding talent was easy, there wouldn’t be a $428 billion global staffing and recruitment industry.)

U.S. immigration policy is broken and unpredictable, but American employers don’t have enough talent, especially in technology. Don’t feel handicapped by your immigration status, and do not let it become a bargaining chip or source of disempowerment in your career search.

Yes, extending your visa for years on end is nerve-wracking, but no, that doesn’t mean you should depreciate your value in the talent market. The investment in sponsorship is not an issue to employers if you’re the right person. Own your background and be proud of the risks you’re taking.

 

Top 12 H-1B Filing Tips Revealed

H1B Visa

Get the inside scoop on how to increase your odds of selection with these 12 tips on how to get an H-1B visa!

Here are the top 12 H-1B filing tips for getting an approval for the 2019-2020 H-1B visa process:

Tip #1: Get your petition in as soon as the window opens!

In past years, the H-1B season has been open for only a short period of time. In fact, due to the staggering numbers of petitions filed each year, the lottery window is typically only open for the first 5 business days after the USCIS begins filing petitions. For that reason, it’s ideal to submit as soon as the first business day in April 2019 rolls around. Procrastinating is not at all recommended.

Tip #2: Filing petitions with multiple employers may be an effective strategy.

It’s commonly known that USCIS will revoke or deny any duplicated petitions they receive that are filed by an employer for one individual. However, you are allowed to submit petitions for multiple employers and even work part-time. This can dramatically increase your chances of being selected. Additionally, you can transfer your employment once your petition has been improved.

Tip #3: Employers–Check if the foreign worker has been previously counted against the cap.

One way to circumvent the annual quota, as we previously mentioned, is to qualify for a cap exemption. If the foreign worker has not yet reached the 6-year limit or if they are working for a cap-exempt employer, chances are they could be exempt. The following is a list of petitions that will not be counted against the cap:

A. Petitions for a cap-exempt employer (more information in Tip #10)

B. Petitions for H-1B transfers to new employers

C. Petitions for H-1B extensions

Tip #4: Provide adequate evidence showing the employer can pay the prevailing wage.

On the petition, it’s important to include all the information that’s requested including evidence that the employer has the ability to pay the prevailing wage. The first attestation of the Labor Condition Application requires that the employer will pay the prevailing wage to the employee, so documentation such as bank or tax statements can help support the employer’s ability to do so. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators

Tip #5: Double check all mailing addresses and sections that require a signature.

It’s easy to overlook a section or neglect to sign an important section. Be sure to double check all relevant fields for the proper information, including addresses and signatures. Having an error or omission on your petition could result in an automatic rejection. An immigration attorney can help you ensure that all forms and fees are sent to the correct places.

Tip #6: Part-time workers can also file an H-1B petition.

Many are surprised to learn that H-1Bs are not limited to only full-time specialty workers. When it comes to the number of hours you can work on the visa, it’s flexible so if you are a part-time worker, apply! You can also apply if you are planning on working for multiple employers simultaneously.

Tip #7: Don’t be misled into thinking that premium processing will increase your chances.

Just because you pay the premium processing fee does not mean your petition will automatically be selected. This feature only speeds up the decision regarding your I-129 petition. The USCIS announces the date that they will begin deciding petitions filed with premium processing each year.

It is important to note that using this feature will also not allow you to start any earlier than October 1st. Speak with your attorney to learn if premium processing is appropriate for your situation.

Tip #8: Your specialty occupation must be related to your degree.

The position on your H-1B petition must correspond to your degree. Even though it is occasionally possible to get an H-1B visa when you have a degree in a different field, it is almost always advisable to seek a position that correlates to your educational background. So if you are applying to be an engineer, your degree should not be in accounting. Make sense?

This is especially important, considering the fact that many of the H-1B Requests for Evidence (RFE) that we get involve a situation in which the beneficiary did not have a degree that was related to the specialty position. While this is not the end of the road, it does create an unnecessary obstacle in the H-1B visa process that could cost you your position in the lottery.

Tip #9: Processing costs must be paid to the USCIS by the employer.

It is very important that the H-1B filing fees are not paid by the beneficiary. If the USCIS finds out the employer did not pay their responsible fees there are serious consequences including potentially revoking the worker’s visa. However, there are some fees, such as the premium processing fee, that can be paid by either the employer or the beneficiary. For the premium processing fee to be paid by the beneficiary, the employer must prove that this was done for the beneficiary’s sake, not the employer’s.

Tip #10: Look for an H-1B cap-exempt job

The best way to increase your chances of selection are to become cap-exempt. This can be done either by already having been counted against the cap or by seeking a job with a cap-exempt employer. The rules for this type of employer are outlined in detail further on in this article, but here are the basic requirements. A cap-exempt employer is either:

A. An institution of higher education

B. A non-profit organization associated with an institution of higher education

C. A governmental research center

Cap-exempt petitions are not only free from the uncertainty of the lottery selection system, but also the associated time constraints. You do not need to file a cap-exempt petition during the narrow cap window and your employment start date is not relegated to October 1st of that year.

You may be tempted to try and get an H-1B with one of these employers to circumvent the cap and then switch to a cap-subject employer when you are in the U.S. However, you must always have a sponsoring employer and switching this sponsor requires filing another petition. If your new sponsor is subject to the cap, then your petition will be also and you will only be able to file during the lottery window.

Tip #11: Be careful as a business owner

If you are the owner of a business, you should tread lightly when petitioning for an H-1B visa. The regulations state that you cannot sponsor yourself under any circumstances, which means that sole proprietors are unable to obtain an H-1B through their business. However, there is a way that certain business owners can apply for an H-1B. For more details on  H1B Visa  check Kotra

Essentially, you must not be the person petitioning and there must be a valid employer-employee relationship between the beneficiary and the sponsor. Your sponsor will need to be an executive or board of directors that has power over your salary, your employment status, and your day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Only then can you get an H-1B through your business. Keep in mind that the USCIS may still heavily scrutinize your case because of the potential for fraud that comes with this avenue.

Tip #12: Have a qualified immigration attorney review all the paperwork.

One of the main mistakes that people make when they try to navigate the treacherous waters of immigration law is going it alone. Just like any big projects, you always want to have an expert by your side making sure that everything is going as planned and fighting for you should the need arise.

Retaining an immigration attorney during the H-1B visa process can significantly increase your chances of being approved by making sure that the fees and documents are filed correctly as well as making sure that the applicant’s position and qualifications have been thoroughly covered to avoid a Request for Evidence (RFE).

US : No Change In H1B Visa System

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The H1B visa row in India, the US government on Friday said there has been no change in law regarding the H1B regime and the system continued to be as before.</p>

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for State for South Asia Thomas Vajda said no legislation has been passed so far on the particular category of visa. Check for H1B Visa Process in UT Evaluators

“(There is) no change in the law today for H1B (visa) regime or system in the United States… President (Donald) Trump asked for review of the H1B system…but no steps have been taken. Many changes in law, so many cases, require changes of legislation.

But so far no legislation has been passed on H1B. For the moment, the system remains as it has in the past,” Mr Vajda told reporters after an interactive session with members of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Following President Trump’s election as US president on a protectionist platform, the US has announced stricter norms for issuing the H1B and L1 visas.

India’s Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said in October that the issue of H1B and L1 visas, which have facilitated the entry of Indian IT professionals, has been raised strongly with Washington.

Responding to a query regarding reducing pet coke imports from the US, Mr Vajda said the US sees energy as the most potential area for increasing economic activities.

“The US is committed to increase energy export and support for India’s economic development,” he said. For H1B Visa Process Visit here

Mr Vajda said both the governments of India and the US have been hopeful and supportive for completion of contract between the Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India to build six nuclear reactors in India.

On the Rohingya refugee crisis, he said the US has been providing financial support for humanitarian purposes to the Bangladesh government through international organisations to help out over 600,000 Rohingyas who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August.