Five years ago, I set a challenge for myself to get professional experience in the USA for one or maybe even several years.Getting
After some research, I realized that I couldn’t work in the USA without a work visa. To get this work visa, I needed to get a job. Thus, I needed to be sponsored for a work visa.
The first thing to do for anyone looking to enter the US is to find a job. Then, you will need to find a sponsor for your visa. Once that is done, you will be good to go and can move to the US.
This guide will tell you how to get a job in the USA that will deliver a visa sponsorship fitting your situation, profile, citizenship desires, and expectations.
Finding a job in the US isn’t so easy-peasy, is it?
In any of those four cases above, you are going to get nowhere! Actually, 90% of failures in getting a job in the USA as a foreigner come from one mistake. And if you encountered the difficulties above, you might be making this mistake: applying without targeting.
Even before thinking about building your American resume and applying to jobs opening in the USA, you have to target the right open jobs and companies for you.
But targeting jobs in your field is not enough! You need to understand that up to 5% of companies in the US may sponsor you for a work visa. It may be even fewer, depending on your situation, profile, as well as the job opportunities you can get with it.
So, first, let’s dive into what you want, and then what you will get depending on your situation, profile, and expectations. This is the foundation of your American project.
Based on this, you will then be able to build your application, target the right companies, and approach them effectively.
But before going any further, I want to tell you something…
What You Want Might Not Be What You’ll Get
You might not want to read what I have to say next. It might offend or challenge your expectations.
Landing in the USA with a work visa does not mean you will get rich or stay in the States for life.
What we are going to see is the reality of the US market as it is today. You might not like it, and unfortunately, if your profile and expectations don’t match this market, it’s not going to happen. Sorry to disappoint you.
Maybe it will be easy, and maybe it will be impossible. It all depends on what you want and expect. Just be prepared to adjust your expectations.
If you don’t want to accept the reality and adjust your expectations, you have only your own decisions to fall back on. The choice is ultimately yours. You must remember that it’s your life. My choice was to live in the USA, and I now live an amazing life there. It’s not because I’m lucky; it’s because I reviewed my expectations and accepted the reality. That’s it.
If you are not ready for such a big step, it’s time to seriously think that you may misunderstand exactly what the American Dream is. And the United States might not be for you, after all. The choice is yours!
The way things are, you need to fit the mold, or you are out.
As unfortunate as this fact is, you need to understand it before going any further. I don’t want to waste your time. So, if you continue reading this post, I assume that you understand the implications of this process.
Now, let me explain how to get a job in the USA!
1. What I Want
First of all, you will need to define your career plan: What do you want to do?!
What kind of job do I want to get?
Some of you have a clear goal, while some of you don’t.
If you know what job you want in the US, that’s awesome! You already know what to search for, and you know exactly what type of job opening you want to apply to. Your career plan is clear for you, and you can skip the rest of this section and go on to “What I Will Get.”
If you don’t have a plan yet, please don’t tell me you are ready to do anything to be in the US. That is NOT a career plan! I have heard that too much for my taste. I know your goal is to be in the USA and get experience from it. But first, you need a CAREER PLAN!
I was in the same situation when I was looking for a job in the USA. At first, I was open to everything and not only jobs in my field. I applied for jobs in sales, marketing, etc., and I discovered that I was going nowhere.
You need to focus on what you love to do and the skills you have. Where do you see yourself working? What skills do you have? Which ones do you need to reinforce?
How to get a job in the USA with a career change:
If you are tired of what you are doing right now, a career change plan may be the thing for you. But you need to figure out the journey you want for yourself to achieve your final goal. Switch to a position that requires your skills or something new you want to learn; this will help you to continue your journey until you reach your final goal.
Keep your goals and motivations for your future and professional path in mind. They should be achievable based on your expertise and abilities.
You might need to focus on setting academic and work-related goals so that you can put your knowledge and abilities to good use. Although volunteering requires time, the commitment can be a fantastic choice when you want to master the skills you haven’t been able to make use of in your workplace.
2. What I Will Get
Now that you know what you want to do, you should check if it fits the US market, especially for foreigners. Remember, you don’t have a work visa yet, so you cannot apply everywhere!!
To know if your profile and expectations fit the U.S. market, you need to find out what visas for which you may be eligible, and then find the companies that have a job opening in your field that can sponsor you for this kind of visa!
The fact is, at this point, it’s vital for you to know what type of visa for which you are eligible. Why? Because the target company and the approach with the company will be completely different depending on your ideal visa, your situation and profile, and your career plan you’ve just defined.
What is my ideal future visa?
Work visas are incredibly complex. Your ideal takes into account a lot of your situation and profile (age, citizenship, marital status, length of stay, area of activity, industry, years of experience, skills, English level, etc.).
Your ideal visa depends on:
- Citizenship: Your home country may or may not be in treaty with the USA. If it is, you may get a very specific type of visa.
- Graduation: If you have more than five years of experience OR an upper-secondary diploma, it might be easier to get a visa.
- Career: It depends on the company you are currently working for. Some companies may want to transfer you to the US.
- Skills: It also depends on your area of expertise and your industry! Depending on these, you could get a specific visa.
- Duration: How much time do you want to stay in the US? Some visas are for several months; others are permanent.
To make the process faster and to be sure about which visa fits with the criteria above, just take this Visa Simulator test!
I worked for several months to build and polish this visa algorithm. So, let’s have a try!
Be as specific as you can, and don’t lie in your answer! If you do, it will give you the wrong result. Be as fair as possible! If you’re honest, it will deliver the right visa for you.
If the quiz returns a visa to you, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You’re on the right path! But before claiming victory, be aware that it may not necessarily be easy. You might even have to make some concessions. But let’s talk about that later in this article.
What if the quiz returns no potential visa?
Unfortunately, that means that it’s quite impossible for you to have an experience in the USA given your current situation and expectation. It means that what you want and what you can offer don’t fit the US requirements.
As I told you earlier, if you want it to work, you will need to adjust your career path or expectations according to the reality. If this is the case, I invite you to contact me directly. Then, I can have a look at your profile and situation. At a glance, I will be able to give you a status regarding what effort you need to make and what expectation you should change to fit the requirement.
If you still have no potential visa because you don’t want to change your expectation, as I told you, it’s a dead end for you. I cannot help you anymore, and it’s useless for you to continue reading this post, because further information will no longer be valuable. So, don’t waste your time. I encourage you to seek resources elsewhere, if you should find no luck here.
Cool beans! Once you know your potential future visa, it’s time to discover open jobs that are right FOR YOU! But before that, check that your diploma is recognized in the USA.
Is my diploma recognized in the USA?
Depending on the field you are looking for, you might need to have a degree, diploma, or certificate. In some cases, the diploma from your country can be enough; sometimes it is not. It depends on your field.
For certain trades, such as healthcare — doctors, nurses, specialists, etc. — you will need a degree equivalence or will need another degree.
If you are a nurse, you will have to pass an equivalent exam. If you are a physician, general practitioner, or specialist, having equivalence is not enough. You are required to get a valid license for the state in which you want to practice.
If you want to work in a pharmacy in the United States, you also need a diploma equivalence. If you are a lawyer, you will need to apply for a license to practice with the State Bar (US). If you want to become a real estate agent, you also need a license in the state in which you want to practice.
So, if you fall in one of the cases above, you must start searching for your diploma equivalence before looking for a sponsoring employer.
In all other trades, unless I’m mistaken, the good news is that there is no need for equivalence for your degrees! But you can check here for more precision.
In our situation, we did not need equivalence, and that is also the case for marketing, communication, sales, IT, HR, finance, hotel/catering, etc.
When preparing your visa application and your diplomas, an official translation into English will be required. But for now, you do not need to worry about that.
So, now comes the juicy part of your job search!