Finding companies that sponsor international students is the biggest challenge in every international student’s job search. It is quite difficult to find companies that hire international students because there is no official list. The government doesn’t produce a list of companies that hire for OPT. Finding companies that offer H-1B takes a lot of research and preparation.
As you start your job search, you’ll discover some familiar names of companies that sponsor international students:
- JP Morgan
- Capitol One
- Goldman Sachs
The challenge is that every other international student will also be applying for jobs at these companies. Additionally, just because a company sponsors doesn’t mean it sponsors international students for every job in the company. To get an H-1B visa an employer needs to show that there are no other Americans to do the job. If a company gets a lot of applications for a job like Social Media Manager, it is likely they won’t hire an international student for the job. However, if a company has a job that requires heavy technical skills, like data scientists and machine learning engineers, they will be more likely to sponsor international students for H-1B.
As you progress in your OPT job search you need to build a bigger target list of companies that hire international students in the US. Below are seven ways to find out if a company sponsors international students in the US. Some methods take longer than others. But you’ll be spending the majority of your job search trying to figure out which companies hire international students, so you will need to try different methods.
If are searching for H-1B jobs, make sure to get our list of companies that hire OPT STEM students.
Research companies on MyVisajobs.com
Myvisajobs.com is a database that lists all companies who have applied for H-1B in the US. The government doesn’t publish a list of companies that receive H-1B. The next best thing is a list of companies that have filed for H-1B. These are the companies recruiting international students like you.
Learn how to use myvisajobs.com to find the companies that sponsor international students. Try the free course below:
Ask career services for a list of companies that sponsor international students
Some schools provide a list of companies that have hired international students. Sometimes they make the lists public as resources on their career services websites. Other times it’s a private document made available only to students at your school. Ask at the beginning of your H-1B job search for this list. Keep in mind, not all schools keep a list. Also try asking international student leaders from campus clubs as they may have an informal list.
Ask career services for a list of international student alumni working in the US
Ask them for a list or a list of international student alumni living in the US. If you get a list of alumni, look them up on LinkedIn to see where they work. Then get to know these alumni. Conduct informational interviews with these alumni as they are working at international friendly companies.
Search other university websites for lists of companies that hire international students
Some schools post lists of companies that have hired international students at their schools. Here are a few examples:
Use LinkedIn’s alumni feature
LinkedIn has a feature that helps you find alumni. Using that tool you can find international student alumni working in the US. Look up a school from your home country on LinkedIn. Select the “see alumni” button. LinkedIn shows you a list of alumni including where they work. Under “Where they live” select “United States.” There you’ll see a list of alumni in the US and the companies they work for. Repeat this exercise with multiple schools from your home country or another country.
You can also search for international student alumni from your current school by selecting your school.
Search employment reports for companies that sponsor international students
Many schools produce employment reports. If you’re in a program with a majority international students, look at your employment report. For example, at the Masters in Finance at MIT is 90% international students. They produce an employment report. In that report you can see what companies hired those students. There is no data on which companies specifically hired international students. But it’s a good list to start with because the companies will be related to your major or program. Combine the employer list with research. Copy the companies then research myvisajobs.com to find out if they sponsored. Not at MIT? You can still use their employment report or any other school’s as a way to find companies that have hired international students.
Target companies with international management
As you research companies, look for people in management or founders who have international backgrounds. While there are no guarantees they hire, at least you know they are open to international candidates as they are led by one. For example, the list below is a study on international student entrepreneurs who lead billion dollar companies. Some of the companies below are not in the Top 250 list but still hire international students according to myvisajobs.com (Bloom Energy, Nutanix, WeWork, etc)
Want more help in your US job search?
See our book for international students: How to Get a Job in the USA