Staying in the US After Graduation with an H-1B Visa

International students at Harvard University and the University of Richmond recently talked to their school newspapers about the difficult of finding a job in the U.S. after graduation. Students looking for long-term, full-time employment need to find a company willing to sponsor them for an H-1B work visa, and according to the students interviewed for these articles, this call be a challenge.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

“Not all firms that are willing to take on American students are willing to sponsor the H-1B, because they don’t have the resources,” says Anusha Tomar ’11, who will be working with McKinsey & Company. Although Tomar is sponsored by McKinsey, she says some of her international friends have encountered problems obtaining H-1B visa sponsorship.

Both the Crimson and Richmond’s Collegian say that finding a job can be a struggle, and suggest that students look into Optional Practical Training (OPT) as an option to bridge the gap.

The Collegian adds that many students who complete school and don’t want to return home go on to graduate school, extending their student visa for additional years.

5 comments

  1. Well to add to the problems of graduating international students, even if you join a graduate school, you can’t extend your visa from within the United States. You need to go out of States to apply for your visa extension, which isn’t guaranteed. This forces you to stay in the States with only their I-20s. Hence, you are unable to visit your country for years. Furthermore, even the OPT is valid only if you get hired a company related to your field of study within 90 days. The laws are extremely ridiculous. In the time when the U.S. Government is bringing in thousands of mostly unskilled people as DV Lottery winners and refugees, it doesn’t make sense that skilled people who are the products of the U.S. education itself have been forced to live on with extreme problems, and have been left with no other choice than return back to their countries.

    1. @Sulav Did you go through this yourself? I’d love to hear more about it, if you did.

  2. @ Jessica Well, i didn’t go through it myself as i am just a sophomore right now, but i am kind of prepared for it i guess. Anyways, i know many of my seniors who have been going through the same phase as i mentioned above. One of my apartment mate who graduated in Computer Science a year ago tried out for jobs for more than six months, but it was all in vain, he would be called up for interview and would not be selected coz he wasnt a U.S. citizen nor a Permanent Resident. So, he finally gave up and joined a grad
    school. Well, that is just one example among
    thousands of such cases. But it was great surprise as well as shock to me to know that even Harvard and
    Richmond graduates need to struggle to find jobs. I don’t know how difficult it is going to be for thousands of students like me who will be graduating from a decent school. It is all because of this totally ridiculous U.S. immigration law. I hope there will be some improvement in the near future.

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely difficult, but certainly not impossible. I’ll see if I can get someone to write about it for the blog…if any of your friends are interested in writing or being interviewed about trying to find a job after graduation, I’d love to get them involved. I don’t know if you remember, but this topic actually came up in the State of the Union address. We did a short post on it at the time: http://blogs.voanews.com/student-union/2011/01/27/the-state-of-the-union-and-international-students/

  3. @Jessica Yeah it isn’t totally impossible though. Keeping my fingers crossed. And i will try to get one of my friends to write about trying to find a job after graduation. And yeah i remember the State of Union address, showed some rays of hope. I hope the sun will shine sooner or later….

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