Ask Sophie: Any steering for altering jobs whereas on an H-1B?

Right here’s one other version of “Ask Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at expertise corporations.

“Your questions are very important to the unfold of data that permits folks everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their goals,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration legal professional. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or searching for a job in Silicon Valley, I might like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

Information World+ members obtain entry to weekly “Ask Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to buy a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Expensive Sophie,

I’ve been on an H-1B visa with my present employer for about two years, and I need to discover a more difficult place with one other firm.

At a time when extra corporations are doing layoffs, I really feel like I’m at an obstacle within the job market in contrast to some years in the past.

Are you able to please information me on altering jobs, transferring an H-1B and getting assist for my inexperienced card?

— Hopeful H-1B Holder

Expensive Hopeful,

Congrats on taking step one towards reaching your targets. Recognize you reaching out to me for steering — I’ve acquired you!

The excellent news is that many corporations are hiring tech expertise. Layoffs within the tech sector — principally by the Massive Tech corporations — have grabbed the information headlines since final 12 months. However I’ve discovered that many early-stage startups efficiently conserved money and at the moment are hiring.

Because you already went by way of the lottery course of, you gained’t have to undergo it once more for an H-1B switch. Phew!

As well as, different sectors akin to healthcare, skilled and enterprise companies, authorities, and hospitality have proven sturdy job progress and are hiring tech expertise. What’s extra, federal laws, such because the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 and the Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act of 2021, will result in elevated job creation over the subsequent few years.

Develop into accustomed to your ultimate visa and inexperienced card route, significantly when pursuing a place at an early-stage startup. Usually early-stage founders and ops leaders have restricted immigration expertise, so understanding clarify the method is invaluable to pitching your self.

Ideas for managing your H-1B switch

You’ve already surpassed one of many largest challenges most individuals face — being chosen for an H-1B visa by way of the annual H-1B lottery. Prior to now few years, the probabilities of being chosen within the lottery have decreased considerably. Because you already went by way of the lottery course of, you gained’t have to undergo it once more for an H-1B switch. Phew!

Your job now’s to determine what it’s you need to do. What’s your dream job? Can it qualify as a specialty occupation for H-1B functions? If it’s not the subsequent pure step on a typical profession development ladder, are you able to determine the subsequent position that might be a fantastic steppingstone?

Picture Credit: Sophie Alcorn

When you’ve recognized the next move, then it is advisable to discover an employer keen to switch your H-1B. Increase your community and faucet into your present community for job leads. Ask potential employers early on within the job interview course of whether or not they’re keen to supply immigration assist.

In the event that they aren’t — or in the event that they hesitate — transfer on. Worldwide expertise stays extremely wanted by employers. In line with the 2023 Immigration Trends Report printed by Envoy World, 87% of employers are recruiting and hiring overseas nationwide workers within the U.S.

For an H-1B, the employer is accountable for paying the prices. You possibly can let potential employers know that an H-1B specialty occupation visa switch for a startup can usually be completed in a month or so, and normally for lower than $10,000, together with authorized and submitting charges, which is way lower than the price of a recruiter. The method can take as little as 4 to 6 weeks from supply to begin date.

It’s undoubtedly really useful that every one corporations work with an skilled immigration legal professional to place collectively your work visa petition. Startups or corporations which have by no means earlier than sponsored an employer or potential worker for an H-1B should first get their Federal Employer Identification Quantity (FEIN) verified by the U.S. Division of Labor’s Workplace of Overseas Labor Certification, which generally takes a couple of week.

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