The process of hiring a non-US worker can be daunting for US businesses. Even international students who have completed a degree in the USA and are looking for a job during their OPT can be at a disadvantage compared to US students – employers are much more familiar with the process of hiring US students.
For those international students that would like to stay and work in the USA, the path that many seek to follow is: F-1 student visa; find a job after graduation in Optional Practical Training (OPT) status; convert the OPT job into an H1B job; apply for permanent residency.
But how do you find those employers that are not put off by the process involved in hiring non-US workers?
The Foreign Labor Certification Data Center has an online library where you can download a list of all of the H1B applications for each fiscal year. Most international students are interested in H1b status, but there are other categories as well. The 2010 fiscal year H1B file is big – about 24 MB – but its got a wealth of information for any OPT job searchers out there!
Once you’ve downloaded the data, you can save it as a csv file and open it in excel. Then you can sort by category, geography, salary or any other criteria you like – all helpful information for any job-seeker out there:
Visit the Working in the USA section of InternationalStudent.com for details on working in the USA while on an F1 visa.
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A recent article in The Daily 49er, the online newspaper for Cal State Long Beach, explores how the poor economy impacts international students, amid drastic cuts in California public education, a weak job market and rising tuition costs. Cal State Long Beach attracts students from around the world. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“The down economy, cuts to the university’s budget and fee increases have affected students on many levels. Job-seeking international students have not been immune.
Last summer, the state reduced the 2009-2010 California State University budget by $571 million. Cal State Long Beach’s share of the cut was $44 million. Faculty and staff
furloughs were implemented, about 1,000 classes were cancelled, and tuition jumped by 30 percent from the 2008-2009 price. Nonresident student fees also increased.
“When you have an economic situation where money is really tight, you’re going to see a reduction in opportunities for everyone,” Inemesit Williams, study abroad adviser for the
Center for International Education (CIE), said. “On top of that, when at the same time you have in increase in fees, students are going to scramble to find ways to cover these new
Last fall, there were 1,236 international students on campus. That is about 3.5 percent of the nearly 35,000-student population. They come from more than 40 countries from Australia, to Brazil and Zambia, with more than half from East or Southeast Asia. International students have either an F-1 student visa or a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. Under U.S. law, these visas allow them to work on campus, or off campus in a field related to their studies for a set time during school and after graduation.
Those who aspire to work for several years need a company to sponsor their application for an H-1B Temporary Worker visa. As the U.S. Department of Labor defines it: “The H-1B
program allows an employer to temporarily employ a foreign worker in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant basis in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.”
The spike in unemployment over the past year and a half in Southern California has increased the stakes for international students who want to land a long-term job. The
seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Los Angeles County was 12.4 percent in March, up from 7.9 percent in August 2008.
The Career Development Center (CDC) on campus has hosted workshops targeting international students. These include seminars on finding an internship and writing an American-style résumé. CDC Counselor Wayne Tokunaga stressed the importance of doing all one can to be marketable.
“If your experience is the exact same as a U.S. citizen’s, they don’t have to sponsor a U.S. citizen for H1B,” Tokunaga said. “They’ll just go with a U.S. citizen because it’s
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