Breaking out of academia and finding a job in the life science industry can be a daunting task. However, having to find an employer who sponsors a work visa, adds a whole other layer of complexity.
While there are similarities amongst different countries when trying to secure work visas, every country has its own rules. This webinar will focus mainly on the situation in the USA.
Most foreign graduate students and postdocs will be in one of two visa categories, F1 or J1. Each visa category comes with its own restrictions and each offers different opportunities. Both categories are considered temporary and do not allow to work in the private sector. For foreign nationals, most jobs in industry require a H1B visa (or Green Card). However, those transitioning from academia are not the only ones applying for H1B visas. The H1B visa category is used by US businesses to employ any foreign worker in a specialty occupation.
H1B visas come in two main flavors.
- H1B visas for work in for-profit organizations (public and private companies) are awarded yearly by the USCIS (US Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services). Currently, there is a yearly cap of 65,000 visas awarded. An additional 20,000 visas are awarded to foreign nationals that hold a US master’s or higher degree. USCIS starts accepting H1B applications on the first business day of April each year for visas that start in October of the thereafter starting fiscal year.
- H1B visas are given to foreign nationals working in academia, non-profit organizations and government organizations. Those visas are cap-exempt.
H1B visas are usually granted for 3 years and can be extended to 6 years maximum.
The competition for H1B visas is enormous. This year (2015), the cap for the 65,000 H1Bs and 20,000 additional visas was reached on 4/7/2015, yes, seven days.
This webinar will talk about some of the basics on how to improve your chance to get visa sponsorship. Many companies now say they won’t sponsor visas, so what can you do? We will also discuss other options than H1B sponsorship (OPT, Green Card, TN visas).