Working in America: how to find work in the USA

Many young job seekers and professionals dream of moving to America to pursue their job ambitions. While working in the US was once quite simple, today it is a more complex goal. There are, in fact, numerous laws and requirements that anyone wishing to invest in their future in the United States must know. In this article, we will walk you through the procedures required to work in America. You will also find useful advice on qualifications and professions with the greatest chance of success in the US job market.

Foreign Workers in the United States: Data and Statistics

Before deciding if a career in the USA is for you, it is important to know the job market in this country. According to the US Department of Labor , 17.1% of the US workforce in 2018 was made up of foreign workers.

American employers, therefore, actively employ foreign workers and it is possible to find work in the United States . In particular, the following demographics are available on foreigners working in America:

  • 2% of foreign workers over the age of 25 have not completed high school;
  • 9% of foreign workers, on the other hand, have a three-year degree or advanced qualification.

Most common professions to work in the USA

For those who want to work in America, it may be useful to know the most frequent professions among foreigners in the country. About 33% of foreign workers work in the managerial and highly skilled labor sector. The most frequent industries are:

  • business and finance
  • technology and mathematics
  • medicine
  • instruction

At the same time, 23% of foreigners working in America work in the service industry. These sectors require a lower level of specialization and therefore allow you to find work in America without a degree :

  • hospital setting
  • catering
  • construction and cleaning
  • personal care

Office jobs and the sales sector employ approximately 15% of foreign workers in the US. The materials manufacturing and transportation industry also employs another 15% of non-US workers.

14% of foreign workers hold roles in the raw materials, construction and maintenance sectors.

It is important to interpret this data correctly. For example, not all foreign workers represented by these statistics are in the United States with a work visa.

Some may be in America with a US spouse or US resident, or to study. In the rest of the article we will therefore discuss which professions have the best chance of finding a sponsor to work in the USA .

What do you need to find work in the USA? Visa required

As in all countries, it is not possible to simply move and start working in the United States. Obviously, there are laws governing the methods and limits within which a foreigner can work in the USA.

To be able to move and find employment in the USA it is necessary, first of all, to have a visa that includes a work permit. American immigration legislation is quite complex, but we can divide the visas that allow you to work into two categories:

  • immigration visas:issued to those who intend to live permanently in the USA. These visas guarantee in almost all cases the possibility of working;
  • non-immigrant visas, issued, for example, to those who want to study and work in America . However, not all visas in this category authorize you to work in the United States.

Immigrant visas that allow you to work in the USA

As mentioned, most of the visas in this category allow you to look for a job in the United States, or to work on your own. If you are in possession of one of these visas, or are in a position to apply for one, you will be authorized to work in the USA.


In general, anyone who obtains such a visa is free to carry out any employment in the country.


Not to be confused with temporary work visas, these permits affect:

  • people with extraordinary  scientific, academic, artistic or commercial skills. The skill must, however, be proven and recognized internationally. Those who fall into this category can apply for an unsponsored visa to work in the United States;
  • professors and researcherswith at least three years of internationally recognized experience;
  • managers and executivesof multinational companies or branches of US companies;
  • investors willing to conduct business in Americaresulting in job creation.

 Non-immigrant visas that allow you to work in the USA

The visas mentioned so far authorize their holders to work without restrictions in the United States in most cases. As a result, they make it much easier to find a job in America . The non-immigrant visas that you will find below allow you to work, but you will have to pay attention to any limitations.


Those who do not meet the requirements to apply for an immigration visa generally aspire to obtain this type of visa. However, it is important to consider that the number of H visas available each year is limited. H visas also bind you to work for only one employer. Not all workers are eligible for a temporary work visa. In fact, category H is aimed at:

  • highly specialized workers,who have particular qualifications (Visa H-1B);
  • seasonal workers,in the agricultural sector or not, from some countries.


This visa to work in America is aimed, for example, at those who obtain a business transfer from Italy to the United States.


J visas are aimed at professors, interns and researchers who participate in exchange programs to work in America.


Finally, student visas are suitable for those wishing to attend a US school or university. Although it is not a real work visa, category F allows in some cases to:

  • work on the university campus on a part-time basis;
  • work as an intern to meet an academic curricular requirement ( Curricular Practical Training or CPT).
  • work after graduation or diploma,generally for up to one year, in a field relevant to their course of study ( Optional Practical Training or OPT).

For more information on the American visa, we recommend that you read the article dedicated to American visas .

Practical tips for finding a sponsor to work in the USA

For those not eligible to permanently immigrate to the United States, an H visa is the simplest solution. But be careful: it is not possible to apply for an H-1B visa on your own. It is necessary to find a sponsor to work in America with this visa.

To get started, you might have to follow the following steps:

  1. know which companies offer sponsorships for H-1B visas:although there is no official database, there are many online statistics on which companies are looking for foreign workers. The MyVisaJobs site , for example, offers statistics on companies offering sponsorship. This includes the number of sponsorships offered and the average salary that H-1B employees receive;
  2. if you are a student with an F-1 visa, look for employment at your university:academic institutions, in fact, actively hire foreign workers. In addition, their sponsorship applications do not fall within the annual H-1B visa limit imposed by the US government;
  3. check the job offers and candidates: after you have identified possible sponsors to work in the USA, we recommend that you apply to as many positions as possible. Once you have received a job offer, remember to inform the company of your sponsorship need.

Common sectors, companies and professions to obtain sponsorship

Employers willing to apply for an H-1B visa for a foreign professional are usually multinationals and large corporations. After all, the sponsorship process has a cost to the company, and the bigger ones can afford it. The ideal sectors for those seeking an H-1B visa are science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

This sector is first of all in attracting foreign talent. It will therefore be relatively easy to find a job as an engineer in the USA. Generally, these companies offer the best sponsorship possibilities:

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • L&T Technology Services
  • Tech Mahindra
  • Syntel

Person working on the PC

Leading consulting and business management companies are among the top H-1B visa applicants. Suffice it to say that, in 2018, Ernst & Young was responsible for 17% of the total H-1B visas granted. If you are interested in this industry, these companies could then do for you:

  • Ernst Young
  • Deloitte Touche
  • Capgemini
  • Accenture
  • PWC
  • Tata Consultancy Services

As already mentioned, American universities frequently apply for, and fairly easily obtain, H-1B visas. If your goal is to work as a professor or researcher, these are the best sponsors to work in the USA:

  • University of Michigan
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Stanford University
  • Mayo Clinic
  • University of Pennsylvania

Sponsorship to work in America: what requirements?

The US authorities devised the H-1B visa precisely to give companies the opportunity to hire skilled foreign workers. As a result, not everyone can obtain this type of visa, so specific requirements apply.


To be eligible for sponsorship, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • have at least a bachelor’s degree (or US bachelor’s degree ) in your field of specialization;
  • in some cases, have a license or certificationauthorizing you to practice your profession;
  • however, in the absence of the previous requirements, it is necessary at least to demonstrate experience equivalent to that of a three-year degree.

Finding a job in America without a degree through sponsorship can therefore be quite complex. This obviously does not apply to non-graduated workers with a residence permit or other type of employment authorization.


To allow you to access a sponsorship, the position you are applying for must respect at least one of these parameters:

  • the work in question must require at least a three-year degree;
  • the job generally requires a bachelor’s degree in the relevant industry. Alternatively, its specificity must be such as to necessarily require a three-year degree;
  • the company usually requires a three-year degreefor this type of work.

Finally, remember that identifying a company willing to apply for sponsorship does not guarantee that you will find a job in the United States . The US authorities will be able to approve or reject the company’s sponsorship request. Not all approved applications then lead to obtaining a visa.

Once you have obtained the H-1B visa you can stay in the United States for 3 years, up to a maximum of 6. Fortunately, this type of visa allows for immigration intent and therefore to apply for a Green Card or permanent residence in the USA.

Mistakes not to make when looking for work in the USA: ESTA and tourist visas

Getting an employment authorization for the United States can be difficult. For this reason, some try to find work without a visa or by being in America on a tourist visa. However, it is absolutely forbidden to look for work or work while in the USA with an ESTA .

Electronic Travel Authorization is suitable for anyone wishing to visit the United States or attend conferences or business meetings. On the other hand, those who do not respect these restrictions can compromise their ability to travel and work in the USA.

These are some of the possible consequences:

  • inability to use an ESTA in the future: even if you are a citizen of a state adhering to the Visa Waiver Program , you will need to apply for a tourist visa;
  • difficulty in obtaining US visas: breaking US immigration laws may in some cases preclude the possibility of obtaining new visas in the future;
  • travel ban in the United States: in the most serious cases, the US authorities may decide to ban access to the country to anyone who violates its rules.

Conclusion: is it possible to work in America?



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