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Companies Willing To Hire Talent, H1B Visa Poses Hurdle In US

MBA graduates intending to work abroad can take heart from the fact that companies are increasingly willing to hire talent from other countries and the demand is more in certain sectors like Consulting, Manufacturing and Technology. However, tough visa conditions, work permits and legal documentation hassles create hurdles for them, especially in countries like the United States of America (USA) which has a “lottery system” allotting a fixed number of the coveted H1B visa to those in “specialty occupations.”

According to the Corporates Recruiters Survey Report 2016 by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 33% of companies in Consulting sector propose to hire candidates who require visas or work permits.

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Companies in the Manufacturing sector (29%), Technology (27%) and Finance (26%) also plan to hire international candidates.

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Meanwhile, 20% of recruiters in the consulting sector, 22 % in manufacturing, 39% in technology and 29% in finance are willing to consider hiring international candidates.

However, a large section of companies in all these sectors declared that they have no plans to recruit anyone who requires legal documents.

The figures are 47% percent for consulting companies, 49% for manufacturing, 34% for technology and 45% for finance.

The H1B Visa Hurdle

International students who have completed their graduation or been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months in the United States are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) allowing them to work for one year on a student visa.

Several students utilise the OPT visa route to gain entry into the job market and to procure employer sponsorship for an H1B visa for those with a speciality occupation.

However, “Speciality occupation” is a general term for any job that requires specialized knowledge for any human-centric work. Due to US government visa caps, only 85,000 HIBs are awarded every year, by a lottery held in April.

To apply for an H1B visa an approved petition from the employer, the candidate must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. It will be the employer’s responsibility to take care of all aspects related to the job since he is the one who is petitioning the government on the candidate’s behalf.

The biggest advantage in securing H1B visa is that it allows the holder to work in the US for a period of six years. However, since the demand for this type of visa far exceeds the supply, there is no way all the applicants will get the visa.

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The companies are also cautious about sponsoring candidates for HIB visa since they stand to lose in terms of money and time if the visa application is rejected. Thus, only very large companies with legal and financial resources propose to hire international talent.

Apart from visa hassles, language barriers, cultural differences, future status of candidates and security issues may pose hurdles in recruiting international workers, GMAC said.

However, 25% of employers in the US have specific plans to hire international candidates who require work permits or H1-B visas, compared with 22 % in Europe and 19 % in Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, 24% of companies in the US, 47% in Europe, and 40% in Asia-Pacific are willing to consider hiring international candidates who require visas.

But 51% of US companies have no plans to hire international candidates; 32% of companies in Europe and 40% of companies in Asia-Pacific also have no recruitment plans for foreign candidates who require legal documentation. Data for Latin America has not been reported because of lack of response.

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