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Searching for jobs in the USA, should I quit?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

So, I live in a micro-state and it is hard for me to get a decent job related to physics (BSc).

First thing I did was applying to foreign companies and universities. I applied to many countries. I don't know why, but most of the jobs I found where in the USA, even though I was trying to avoid it to be honest! (Probably because it is the largest English speaking country).

I received an e-mail today from a university asking me if I have an F1 visa eligible for OPT or CPT, and I replied with "No, I don't have F1 visa and I am not a student". They then replied to me and said that they do not sponsor non-academic or research positions and followed by saying that I need to consult an immigration specialist, and if my status changed I should notify them so they can re-evaluate my application.

I didn't know anything about USA visa honestly, so I searched and it seems that I need a sponsorship for H1-B (Which they don't want to sponsor). Long story short, it is an insanely long process with a very specific application period.

My question is: should I stop searching for jobs in the USA and focus more on European and Asian countries instead? I feel that even if I am qualified, I won't get a job.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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US companies extend the H1-B visa to foreign candidates when they can't find qualified US candidates for positions here. They may even have to provide proof that they interviewed a number of US candidates before they settled on the foreign one. This means you have to be truly outstanding and also have a friend in the company who can recommend and push you through the process.

https://www.stilt.com/blog/2018/06/h1b-visa-guide/

As a college student, you can come for education and then work on some graduate level projects to gain specialized knowledge that may help you attain the H1-B. However, some of these graduate level projects may be related to government research and so then you can only work on them if you are a US citizen which means they are not on the table for you.

Perhaps you can find a US based country hiring in your country so by working there you can develop some specialized skills that they may want transferred back to the US and would be willing to sponsor you for an H1-B.
 
  • #3
ZapperZ
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So, I live in a micro-state and it is hard for me to get a decent job related to physics (BSc).

First thing I did was applying to foreign companies and universities. I applied to many countries. I don't know why, but most of the jobs I found where in the USA, even though I was trying to avoid it to be honest! (Probably because it is the largest English speaking country).

I received an e-mail today from a university asking me if I have an F1 visa eligible for OPT or CPT, and I replied with "No, I don't have F1 visa and I am not a student". They then replied to me and said that they do not sponsor non-academic or research positions and followed by saying that I need to consult an immigration specialist, and if my status changed I should notify them so they can re-evaluate my application.

I didn't know anything about USA visa honestly, so I searched and it seems that I need a sponsorship for H1-B (Which they don't want to sponsor). Long story short, it is an insanely long process with a very specific application period.

My question is: should I stop searching for jobs in the USA and focus more on European and Asian countries instead? I feel that even if I am qualified, I won't get a job.
It is extremely difficult to get an H1-B if you are not already in the US as a student for the type of jobs that you are seeking. First of all, the potential employer must show that they have attempted to get US citizens/residents. Then, they need to be able to interview you, and typically involves you coming to the institution and giving a presentation. This is all just to consider if they will be willing to hire you for the position.

If you are applying to private companies, they must indicate that they will help you seek that visa. Otherwise, this is not something they will do for you because it typically costs them money and time, something that most companies do not wish to engage in, especially in today's political climate.

Most, if not all, US employment visas require a company willing to hire you AND sponsor you. Otherwise, you either need to qualify via other means, or you don't qualify at all.

Zz.
 
  • #4
StatGuy2000
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To the OP:

It would help to know the following about yourself:

1. Which microstate do you live in? This may matter because of possible treaties that may exist that may facilitate citizens to seek employment in certain other select countries. For example, I was under the impression that citizens of certain Pacific island countries like Tonga, Tuvalu or Fiji have such an agreement with New Zealand (I have heard that there are many ethnic Tongans, Tuvaluans and Fijians living and working in New Zealand).

2. What type of qualifications do you have besides your Bsc in physics? You had a previous post stating that you have been accepted for a secondary school teaching position. Do you have skills that an employer would value (e.g. programming skills, experience in data analysis, etc.)?

3. Have you thought about applying for further graduate studies, in physics or in another cognate field? As others have mentioned, one of the easiest ways for you to seek opportunities in the US and qualify for the required H1-B visa.
 
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  • #5
To the OP:

It would help to know the following about yourself:

1. Which microstate do you live in? This may matter because of possible treaties that may exist that may facilitate citizens to seek employment in certain other select countries. For example, I was under the impression that citizens of certain Pacific island countries like Tonga, Tuvalu or Fiji has such an agreement with New Zealand (I have heard that there are many ethnic Tongans, Tuvaluans and Fijians in New Zealand).

2. What type of qualifications do you have besides your Bsc in physics? You had a previous post stating that you have been accepted for a secondary school teaching position. Do you have skills that an employer would value (e.g. programming skills, experience in data analysis, etc.)?

3. Have you thought about applying for further graduate studies, in physics or in another cognate field? As others have mentioned, one of the easiest ways for you to seek opportunities in the US and qualify for the required H1-B visa.


I was trying not to post any personal details on the internet to be honest. If you don't mind, I can send my CV.

I am very good at programming (C++, python, fortran, and some others)--- As a physicist, not as a computer scientist.

I had two internships in the last three years in two different fields. One in my country and the other in a very famous organization. One of them focused on job practices and the other focused on research.

I also taught/tutored in my home university for two semesters, and my senior project involved programming in mathematica.

About graduate studies, I want to continue further, I will eventually apply to a PhD program. But I wanted to take 1-2 years experience in something other than "universities". << Though, I was applying to them for jobs too, as the original post reveals.
 
  • #6
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Please be aware we should strive to remain anonymous on this forum and discourage sharing of personal information publicly or in the background via PM.

There are always risks involved in these types of interactions and its prudent to remain anonymous because:

The INTERNET never forgets and there's no way to undo something you've posted.
 
  • #7
Please be aware we should strive to remain anonymous on this forum and discourage sharing of personal information publicly or in the background via PM.

There are always risks involved in these types of interactions and its prudent to remain anonymous because:

The INTERNET never forgets and there's no way to undo something you've posted.
Thanks. I was going to PM my CV for more details but without revealing names, country, etc... Just the relevant details.

Thanks again.
 
  • #8
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Thanks. I was going to PM my CV for more details but without revealing names, country, etc... Just the relevant details.

Thanks again.
Still dangerous. Sometimes folks can tease out stuff from the document meta data or search on unusual terms and find more about you online. This known as doxing and its a fine art.
 
  • #9
Joshy
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My friends finished their BSc in physics and are US citizens... they're still looking for jobs or they became technicians.
 
  • #10
DrDu
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I fear that a BC is not attractive enough for a foreign company to engage in getting visa, relocation etc for you. In the company I am working, this is typically done for postdocs.
Programming knowledge is fine, but increasingly viewed at as a basic skill like being able to read and write.
 
  • #11
StatGuy2000
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Important note to moderators:

Please understand that I was in no way trying to jeopardize the anonymity of the OP. My questions were primarily directed so that we could tailor our advice to be most relevant. For example, if the OP was living in a microstate in Europe (e.g. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, San Marino) we could advise him/her to consider seeking employment or educational opportunities in other EU countries such as Germany or France.
 
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  • #12
Vanadium 50
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if the OP was living in a microstate in Europe (e.g. Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg)
Luxembourg! They even have an airport - and an airline! When I think "microstate" I think San Marino!

More seriously, we seem to have an increasing number of messages of the form "I have a very specific problem, but for good and valid privacy reasons won't provide the details. What should I do?" I'm not sure what the answer is to this.
 
  • #13
StatGuy2000
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  • #14
Joshy
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Shouldn't it be okay to respond to a "specific" problem with broad answers and concepts? I personally feel the OP provided more than enough details. I don't think it's unusual for people to (wrongfully) think their case is unusual, cannot be solved with broad answers and concepts, and needs special attention.

Side note: I want to visit Luxembourg! I'm going to have to start working on my Luxembourgish :)
 
  • #15
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I don't see how much help "eat green leafy vegetables", "floss after eating" and "rotate your tires" would be. o0)
 
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  • #16
My friends finished their BSc in physics and are US citizens... they're still looking for jobs or they became technicians.
Me too, I know people who waited three years to get a decent job related to what they studied in university. (If you think about it, this is my reason to search for a job outside my country!!)

But, this is not the point. I have been taught in school by foreigners, even though there are individuals (citizens), who could in some sense occupy that specific vacancy. Several factors contribute in what is more "suitable" for the company or the school etc. Not just whether someone have the citizenship or not. Luck/Randomness also contribute to this.

Finally, I would like to point out my question again:
--Should I stop applying for USA jobs because the VISA process is very long and difficult and instead search for jobs in Europe and Asia?

For those who asked about treaties and such: Just assume that there are none
 
  • #17
Joshy
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You have one extra hurdle - the need for a visa - above other candidates who already have a difficult time achieving these positions. It's not to say there cannot be exceptions... I wouldn't stop applying, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I don't see how much help "eat green leafy vegetables", "floss after eating" and "rotate your tires" would be.
That was snarky. I don't like it. You can be broad and specific "enough".
 
  • #18
Vanadium 50
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That was snarky.
Yeah, but it was also funny.
I have since added a smiley.

I also disagree. If someone wants good advice they need to be specific.
 
  • #19
Joshy
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I'm curious: Let's stipulate that OP is a US citizen and living in the states (they have a BSc in physics). What kind of advice would you give? Are they looking for the wrong type of job? Should they instead pursue graduate school? Specialize (a bit superficial)? Gain experience elsewhere such as internships, volunteer work, or through academic or professional societies?
 
  • #20
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I'm curious: Let's stipulate that OP is a US citizen and living in the states
But a key issue here are the visa woes. A US citizen doesn't have them. Furthernore, the OP is incredibly vague about exactly what he or she is looking for. "Related to physics" is broad.
 
  • #21
ZapperZ
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I'm curious: Let's stipulate that OP is a US citizen and living in the states (they have a BSc in physics). What kind of advice would you give? Are they looking for the wrong type of job? Should they instead pursue graduate school? Specialize (a bit superficial)? Gain experience elsewhere such as internships, volunteer work, or through academic or professional societies?
But this is then a different topic. The BIG part of the OP's question and situation is the immigration/visa status for employment in the US, regardless of the area of employment.

If you wish to ask a different question, then either start another thread, or browse existing threads where this topic has been discussed.

Zz.
 
  • #22
Grinkle
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it is hard for me to get a decent job related to physics (BSc).
Many folks post on this forum with a PhD in physics stating the same thing that is in your quote above.

My advice is to not spend time applying in the US if you are somehow (time or whatever) resource limited in how wide a net you can cast.
 
  • #23
Joshy
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If it's difficult to get a job even with the visa or being a US citizen, then why even bother thoroughly discussing the visa. If the OP can make their self a competitive candidate, then they can work on the next steps. I feel like the discussion is way ahead of the topic.

If topic pertains only to visa and overlooking all issues, and OP is more interested in getting a visa than a relevant job, then fine: I'm wrong. Sorry! Even with only the visa in mind: If OP was one of few qualified candidates for a position, then maybe the visa would be much less of an issue than being described. The OP already described some of their skills and it doesn't take running first principles in a supercomputing cluster to see that visa isn't really the dominating issue for this topic- you stipulate that the OP has is a US citizen or has a visa, and yet they are still very unlikely to achieve their goals. We're trying to tell them how to bake a cake with a high precision recipe when we know none of the ingredients are available.
 
  • #24
CrysPhys
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Finally, I would like to point out my question again:
--Should I stop applying for USA jobs because the VISA process is very long and difficult and instead search for jobs in Europe and Asia?
For a new BS Physics (no extensive work experience), it's highly unlikely that any US company will sponsor you for an H1-B visa ... unless you know a manager who's willing to do you a personal favor. In the late 1990's, near the peak of the InterNet Bubble, there was a shortage of scientists and engineers in optoelectronics, and certain US companies were recruiting from overseas. But even then, they were looking for people with advanced degrees (at least an MS, preferably PhD) and experience. And even then it helped to have an inside contact to act as an advocate for a particular candidate (I helped place a foreign student I was mentoring).

So, for the US, your best path is to attend grad school here on a student visa, and then apply for a job under OPT. This allows much greater flexibility in scheduling, less money up front for the hiring company, and gives the company time to evaluate your performance before going through the expense and paperwork of an H1-B.

Note that the US is not the only country that requires a visa for employment of a foreigner. How many hoops you need to jump through will depend on what country you are a citizen of and what country you are applying for work in. Don't automatically assume that the rest of the world is easier than the US.
 
  • #25
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It is easier if you can continue your master in the US, and then find a job there after you finish/while you are studying with the proper authorization. I am not sure about the US, but in Canada as an intentional student who finishes from a Canadian university, you will receive an open work permit for 3 years upon graduation, which gives more flexibility than being sponsored by a specific employer. I believe I heard it is the same in the US, but again, I am not sure.
 

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