Looking for H1B jobs is stressful. It’s not as simple as typing “h1b visa sponsorship available” into Google and H1B news and updates aren’t always clear. American companies are complicated. Not all US companies offer H1B sponsorship. Even if you companies that sponsor H1B, they won’t sponsor for every position. Even Amazon, a company that many F1 visa students apply to because they sponsor H1B, doesn’t sponsor for every job. You are more likely to get an H1B sponsorship for a data scientist or software engineer job than a social media coordinator.
Despite the fact that it’s getting harder for international students to get sponsored, there are still plenty of companies who are willing to sponsor international students. This week in H1B news it was announced that the 2018/19 H1B processing hit it’s annual cap, which happens when H-1B applications exceeded the available number of H1B visas. That means the decision of who gets an H1B will be determined by luck (unlike in Canada where the visa process is decided by merit). But here is the good news: all of these applications are backed by a company that is willing to hire a talented international candidate. So even though it feels like companies aren’t hiring H1B students, they still are. They’re just very hard to find. And you have to be an exceptional candidate to get hired.
Remember, the secret to finding H1B jobs is research. There are no shortcuts. Companies that promise they can get you an H1B are not truthful. The H1B process is based on lottery; that means it’s up to luck and no company can guarantee you an H1B (also, they can’t charge you for applying for the visa on your behalf). As an international student looking for work in the US, you have to spend the time researching which companies sponsor, where they’re located at and why they sponsor international candidates.
Luckily, the Pew Research Institute just released some data to make your search a bit easier. They compiled a list of where most H1B visas are awarded in the US. Use this data to help you search for H1B jobs in different locations throughout the US. While many students search in San Francisco and New York because they are big, well- known cities, there are places with companies who are willing to sponsor international students. The US is a big place after all.
Start incorporating the cities below into your search. Expanding your job search to less competitive markets, including cities outside of the coastal areas like SF, LA, NYC, Boston, might make it easier to find H1B jobs. I’ve known international students found jobs in Minnesota and Tennessee because fewer international students want to live in those states. Use the data below to change up your job search and explore companies located in those locations.
The cities are listed in order of most H1B visas issued between 2010-2016. They are listed by metro region, which means the cities are separated by a “-“. So Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX is actually three cities: Dallas, Ft Worth, Arlington. Be sure to separate the cities in your keyword search.
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX|
|College Station-Bryan, TX|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL|
|Durham-Chapel Hill, NC|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA|
|Austin-Round Rock, TX|
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT|
|San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX|
|Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI|
|St. Louis, MO-IL|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA|
|Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY|
|Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI|
|Kansas City, MO-KS|
|Baton Rouge, LA|
|Burlington-South Burlington, VT|
|New Haven-Milford, CT|
|Ann Arbor, MI|
|New Orleans-Metairie, LA|
|Oklahoma City, OK|
|Greensboro-High Point, NC|
|Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR|
|Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC|
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