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Author Topic: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(  (Read 1177 times)

lawschoolgirl

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International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« on: October 16, 2008, 02:13:10 AM »
I am a 2L and I accepted an offer from a V25 firm for the summer.

However, I am really worried that my immigration status will affect my offer.. Although I have a work visa called CPT available for the summer, I am not a permanent resident here, so I need to get an H1 visa to work in America.

I am really worried that the firm might not give me an offer after the summer program, because of this. This actually happened to me once. I once had an offer for a non-lawyer position at a law firm, but they canceled the offer because I was a non-citizen and they didn't want to sponsor a work visa for me.

I hear that it is very difficult to get an H1 visa, because the government only gives out 55,000 visas each year.
I don't know what the rationale behind that is. Are they saying international students can learn here but have to
go to another country to work?

What should I do? What's the H1 visa process like? Does anyone know?

meggo

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 12:52:20 PM »
It depends on your citizenship - if you are Canadian or Mexican you could be sponsored under the TN visa scheme.

At the end of the day, this is a risk of studying internationally. However, there is a vast difference between someone not wanting to sponsor a visa for a administrative or paralegal (it really wouldn't make sense to do so) versus sponsoring someone who is highly skilled for a specific position (ie lawyer). That is honestly a bridge you will have to cross when you come to it, and I'm sure others can provide more solid advice, but from what I've read/seen, I don't believe you will have a problem.

lawschoolgirl

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2008, 04:18:27 PM »
thanks for your post. Does anyone know if large law firms usually sponsor H1B visas for their international employees?

meggo

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2008, 04:57:48 PM »
Yes. The bigger the company the more likely it is that they have international employees and have dealt with the process of acquiring visas

CTL

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2008, 05:26:58 PM »
Didn't they ask about your status in the interview?   I'm surprised...

At any rate, they most certainly sponsor individuals when hiring them as associates, just let them know.
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TH14

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2008, 05:54:47 PM »
No worries, lawyers are exempt from the 55K cap.  It only applies to bachelor's degrees.  As long as you can get the firm to sponsor your visa, you should be fine.  Being a V25, I'm pretty sure they will. 

Lojack

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2008, 06:39:29 PM »
Why would any firm not be willing to sponsor anyone if that is what is needed for the person they want? I do not see how any company would pull an existing offer because they would have to sponsor you, what good does that do. US law firms get first year associates from Canadian law schools each year, so I really do not see how a visa would be an issue if the firm wants you.

TH14

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2008, 07:07:40 PM »
I don't see a problem for the OP, but it can be an issue with smaller firms.  It costs money, you have reporting requirements to the government, and you have to renew it every 3 years.  But renewing every 3 years isn't really efficient, so at some point, the firm will make a decision to apply for permanent residence (if it still wants you).  That too, costs money.  So they wouldn't sponsor a non-resident's visa if you can hire a US citizen or permanent resident of the same quality.  But as you say, if the firm really wants you, and they know about visa matters beforehand, it shouldn't be an issue.

Why would any firm not be willing to sponsor anyone if that is what is needed for the person they want? I do not see how any company would pull an existing offer because they would have to sponsor you, what good does that do. US law firms get first year associates from Canadian law schools each year, so I really do not see how a visa would be an issue if the firm wants you.

lawschoolgirl

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2008, 04:19:41 PM »
Thanks so much for your posts. but TH14, what do you mean that lawyers are exempt from the cap on the number of H1 visas?

I hear that the cap for BA degree is 65,000, and the cap for higher degrees is 20,000.
Are you saying that lawyers belong to 20,000 category? (there would still be a cap of 20,000 =(  )

TH14

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Re: International Students: How do you get work visa? =(
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2008, 11:14:20 PM »
I stand corrected.  By "exempt,"  I meant the "advanced degree exemption," capped at 20,000.  My understanding was that typically, the number of petitions under this "exemption" would be fewer than the cap.  But I just checked the USCIS website and found that there were 31,200 petitions filed for FY 08...

Still, the spill-overs will joint the random selection process with the BAs, so I guess there is a fairly decent chance of getting selected and approved, unlike the BAs...

I also had a question for you.  You mentioned CPT, does that mean you gain credits for your summer work?  You're not using the pre-graduation OPT (or whatever it's called)?

Thanks so much for your posts. but TH14, what do you mean that lawyers are exempt from the cap on the number of H1 visas?

I hear that the cap for BA degree is 65,000, and the cap for higher degrees is 20,000.
Are you saying that lawyers belong to 20,000 category? (there would still be a cap of 20,000 =(  )