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Finding a Job in the US as an Expat: An Overview

There is currently a major labor shortage in the US. Employees are quitting at a higher rate than usual, with fewer and fewer qualified job-seekers to replace them. The disparity between job offers and job-seekers is so wide (nearly 2 to 1 in some sectors) that employers have to increase compensation, lower requirements, and seek out innovative ways to attract top talent.

For workers looking to find a job in the US as an ex-pat, now might be as good a time as we’ve seen in many a decade. In this short article, we’ll give you an overview of the various visa possibilities, job-search strategies, and sectors of activity you might want to consider.

Visa and Sponsorship Options

It is quite rare to find employers willing to take the risk of hiring workers who don’t have the legal right to work in the US – perhaps less so in restaurants and bars in big cities such as New York. So, it is important to secure the necessary authorization if you want to work in the US.

A sponsorship – meaning a company that will undertake all the steps to securing a work visa for you – is the easiest way to go about getting authorization to work in the US.

Since sponsorships are linked to job openings, the best place to find sponsorship opportunities is by perusing job offers on US-focused job portals like Lensa.

With a visa sponsorship, the employer files all the necessary paperwork on your behalf. You can, however, do this yourself. And there are several types of work visas for the US that you can apply for. The specific visa you apply for will be determined by the classification of your area of expertise: specialized jobs; non-professional skilled workers; agricultural workers; etc.

Job Search Strategies

Online job search portals such as Lensa, Indeed, and Glassdoor host hundreds of thousands of job openings. Take advantage of machine-learning algorithms to have artificial intelligence match you with jobs you are qualified for, and that fit your criteria.

Bear in mind that depending on the state the job offer is in, the federal mandate for what kind of health insurance and holiday pay the company must offer will differ. It’s important to discuss in detail the benefits package being offered as it is not uncommon in the US for companies to offer less-than-full-time jobs in order to circumvent having to respect these obligations.

Fields in Demand

In 2023, the labor shortage in the US has affected all sectors of activity. However, the fields that tend to be most attractive to foreign workers (and that hire a larger percentage of foreign workers) remain the field of technology (developers and cyber security specialists) and the healthcare industry (nursing and geriatrics especially).

For those who have been contemplating working in the US, news of the current labor shortage and, subsequently, how many available jobs there are might be the push they need to take the plunge.