Obtaining an H1B Visa While Living Abroad

Foreign nationals with educational degrees and skills needed by US companies can work legally with an H1B visa. This type of visa has specific requirements, one of which is that the worker must have a US company sponsor the visa petition. There is a process of obtaining a sponsor for the H1B visa that entails a highly specific job search, since there are companies who sponsor many H1B visas for non-immigrants.

Foreign nationals with educational degrees and skills needed by US companies can work legally with an H1B visa. This type of visa has specific requirements, one of which is that the worker must have a US company sponsor the visa petition. There is a process of obtaining a sponsor for the H1B visa that entails a highly specific job search, since there are companies who sponsor many H1B visas for non-immigrants.

Obtaining a sponsor is a little more difficult for those living outside the US in their country of residence due to the distance and time differences. However, many workers do succeed in finding a job and sponsor. Here are a few realities that you will face in finding a sponsor while living in your own country.

Finding Companies That Sponsor H1B Visas

By far the easiest method to find a company to sponsor your H1B visa petition is to use a site such as H1B.io that specializes in locating sponsoring companies. We maintain listing of companies that routinely sponsor H1B visas and can analyze historical data to determine the chances of landing a position.

This gives you a greater chance of obtaining a visa from abroad since you will be applying for positions with companies that are more likely to sponsor an H1B. Otherwise, you will have to rely on good luck and random job searches to obtain a position with a sponsoring company, which can be a challenge when you are living abroad.

Looking for a Position That Matches Your Degree and Skills

If you have identified companies that routinely sponsor H1B visas, the next step is to see if they have a position that matches your educational degree. This is a core requirement of the H1B visa, and you will have to document both your degree and the position description in the petition.

Applying for a job from abroad is not that difficult given the technology and communication tools available. Companies that sponsor many H1B visas will be accustomed to remote interviewing and application methods, so it is not really a disadvantage as long as you can manage the differences in time zones for communication purposes.

Filing the Petition

If the US company offers you a job, they will be the one to file the petition. The worker (or beneficiary) cannot file an H1B visa petition, but you will need to supply the required information for the application. It does take time for the petition to be approved or rejected, and then you will likely be subject to the annual cap lottery for H1B visas.

The H1B Visa Consulate Interview

A part of applying for an H1B visa from abroad is the consulate interview, where you will have to schedule an appointment with the US consulate in your country. This interview is discussed in detail in another article on our website, but you will need to pay an extra fee and bring along the required documents.

At this point, all you can do is wait for the petition to be reviewed, and it does not matter if you are living abroad or not. In some ways, it is better to be in your home country during this time to see if it is approved and if you can obtain a visa within the annual H1B cap. 

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  • June 6th, 2016
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3 thoughts on “Obtaining an H1B Visa While Living Abroad”

  1. Sir I am Aftab Alan Khan and I live In Mumbai city in India and i want to live and work in US but i don’t have any sponsership to get permanent visa . so please give me detail how to get work and live visa.

  2. Please tell me about EB-3 type visa briefly . which type questions ask in embassy according this process ?

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