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10 US companies that will sponsor H-1B visas

Ricardo Fernandez - October 31, 2019

International graduates may find H-1B visa sponsors at these companies

“Will this company sponsor my H-1B visa once my F-1 OPT ends?”

It’s the question on every international master’s student’s lips as they near the end of their studies.

That’s doubly true for MBA and other business school graduates as they’re limited to 12 months of work on their F-1 OPT extension. After that it’s an H-1B visa or bust. Of course, there are other visa classes, especially for those with an entrepreneurial passion, but that’s not always the easiest option when you’re paying off international student loans at the same time. 

STEM graduates face the same question, though they may not feel the same pressure… at first. With up to 36 months in the US on the OPT STEM extension, they’ve got a little more time to find their feet.

But, the reality is, that its becoming more and more complex to secure an H-1B visa. It can be quite time-consuming for the companies that apply and - at the end of the day - it’s a lottery, so there is an element of risk.

Of course, there are still a number of companies hiring international graduates in the US.

There has been an increase of rumours regarding the Trump administration’s plans for the H-1B visa programme.

As of now, there hasn’t been any significant changes and the 20,000 H-1B visas specifically earmarked for internationals who completed their graduate degrees in the US continue to be issued.  

Top 10 US H-1B visa sponsors for international graduates

Of course, there’s a lot more to it than simply checking out the top 10 employers hiring international graduates. You want a fulfilling job that ticks a lot more boxes than just H-1B visa assistance - and this step-by-step plan is how you get the job that fits you like a glove.

Your university knows H-1B visa sponsors

You’ll find that the careers department and the international student office at your school work closely to help their international students and graduates find the right employers in the US.

In parallel, companies rely on schools to identify their top talent. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.

Even if you have an offer from your internship company or you’re planning to return to the company that helped sponsor your degree, it’s worth checking out what the careers department has to offer. 

Top tips for finding H-1B visa jobs using university resources:

  • Before beginning your master's degree studies, check out your school’s career services and ask for their experience helping international graduates get jobs in the US. There will be some focus on F-1 OPT, but they can guide you towards companies that also sponsor H-1B visas.
  • Most schools recommend you spend time in their careers department and visit their advisors. Carnegie Mellon University Heinz College, for example, suggests you speak to one of their Career Advisors and get a mentor at the school.
  • Many schools that encourage international students to apply also maintain long lists of previous employers for graduates. This could help you make a school decision, but these lists are out there, whether you attend that university or not.
  • Large corporates, like Amazon, Dell and McKinsey, have structured graduate degree hiring programs from top schools around the USA. They hire hundreds of international grads annually and will sponsor H-1B visas for top talent. 

Above all, remember to engage with your school’s career and international offices - even if you think it’s too late in the process or you’re already on your OPT. 

International career support from universities

Check the H-1B visa databases

It’s no secret that there are websites listing H-1B sponsoring companies. 

This information is public information as US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), approves all H-1B visas and maintains records on where these visa holders work. 

Feel free to browse their website, where you’ll find information on approvals - sortable by the type of degree and salary bands.  

Looking for alternative H-1B visa databases?

The USCIS database is a great place to start, but you’ll notice that the biggest IT employers often apply for H-1B visas to hire international employees without graduate degrees.

If you’re an international graduate from a top American school, you’ll need something with a little more depth. There are several public databases and you’re likely to find one that allows you to filter by city, occupation, job title and more to be the most useful for your searches. 

TIP: Names such as Google, Deloitte, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple all appear in the top 25 of companies that sponsor H-1B visas and heavily recruit from top graduate US institutions.

If you’re interested in working with one of these companies, you might be able to skip the database search altogether. And, they’ll all help with the H-1B visa application and, most of the time, involve their lawyers. 

Use or grow your network to find H-1B employers

If you’ve been working towards your MBA, you know there’s nothing like networking, networking, networking. While there isn’t as much emphasis placed on MS degree applicants to grow their network, a list of growing personal contacts will always make a difference to your future career. 

Top tips for using your network to secure an H-1B employer:

  • Almost everyone doing a graduate degree from a US school has family or a friend that has previously studied in the US. Ask them, reach out and drill them with questions. They’ll share their personal experience and will most likely connect you to other people with similar situations - and, hopefully, suggestions and solutions.
  • If you begin with a simple Google search, you’ll often find forums, as well as legal firms specialising in immgration law (sometimes with a list of their clients) and there are job portals focused on H-1B visas. Once you find a company that interests you, use your LinkedIn account to see if you know anyone that can connect you with them.
  • Make the most of alumni associations and other networking groups to see how they can help. Even Prodigy Finance maintains lists of clients that are happy to share their experience of studying in the US, graduating and getting a job. 

Is a US master's degree the first step for you?

For more than 10 years, we’ve helped more than 20,000 international graduates study at top schools in the US and around the world . 

Prodigy Finance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Post updated for accuracy and freshness on October 31, 2019. Originally published on June 28, 2019.

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