Perhaps your STEM OPT is about to expire. Or maybe you'd like to ask about an employer-sponsored green card. No matter your situation, asking an employer about immigration can be daunting. Here are some pointers to help you navigate the conversation with confidence!
Know Your Work Visa Options
Unless you work for a large company that regularly sponsors visas, your employer might not know much about work visa sponsorship. When you bring up the topic, they may have many questions.
Be sure to understand which visa options you might qualify for, the process of getting those visas, and the approximate cost. Our immigration resources may help you understand the different work visas out there.
Communicate How Your Employer Will Benefit From Sponsoring Visas
If your company does not yet have a visa sponsorship program, you may need to advocate for establishing one. Some employers are wary of visa sponsorship initially, so you'll need to explain why it's worthwhile.
Some ways companies can benefit by offering visa sponsorship include:
- Attracting top talent: Offering visa sponsorship opens up possibilities to attract top talent worldwide. U.S. employers know there is a significant talent shortage for certain roles, especially in STEM fields. Even though visa applications may seem time-consuming or pricey, the benefit of attracting top talent outweighs the cost.
- Driving innovation: Your employer knows innovation is integral to the company's success. Hiring employees from other countries enables a company to bring together different perspectives and experiences, which can drive innovation.
- Retain employees: Your employer knows that employee turnover is expensive. Offering visa and green card sponsorship can help retain employees for obvious reasons. Perhaps you joined your company as an intern while on an F-1 visa, or maybe you were on a dependent visa. Either way, your employer will lose you when your work authorization expires unless they sponsor you. Another aspect to consider is that an employee with a work visa sponsored through a certain company for a specified time (let's say three years) is less likely to leave in those three years than another employee who has less incentive to stick around.
The process and costs of visa sponsorship may feel like a deterrent for companies, but the long-term benefits make it worth it in the long run. Helping your employer understand this will not only enable you to continue to work at your company but will also have a long-term positive impact on the company’s growth. Know your value and the value of the global workforce, and think of yourself as an advocate not only for yourself but for other international employees and the company itself!
Legalpad Can Help
Legalpad exists to help international talent get work visas in the U.S. If you want to understand your immigration options better before bringing up the conversation with your employer, connect with us today.