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I am an Android developer with almost 5 years of experience in native android application development. I am from India and considering moving to another country, mainly Canada, japan or any European country with good demand for IT professionals.

I have been applying with different companies having vacancy that suits my current profile, I have even applied to lower positions that require half of the experience I have, but almost all the time I receive rejection mails saying that your profile suits but we wish you better luck. I even sometimes write back to get any feedback that would help me understand what I might be doing wrong, but just to receive replies that most of times consisting that we are looking for someone with same origin country.

It has been more than a year since I am doing this kind of online applications but to no results. What should I change to get a chance to get my application considered and proceed?

  • Where do you currently live? I a lot of time companies hire locals because they don't know if you are committed to actually moving there and staying. – SaggingRufus Oct 4 '18 at 10:20
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    @SaggingRufus : I have updated the question with my country of living. – nightfury101 Oct 4 '18 at 11:05
  • HI new user. There is SUCH HIGH DEMAND for good Android programmers, it is bizarre you have had this experience. Perhaps you need a better resume or??? – Fattie Oct 4 '18 at 13:22
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    If you can pin down your search to a more specific country then it may be worth asking over on Expatriates SE – motosubatsu Oct 4 '18 at 16:18
  • Not sure if I am allowed to say this, but I know for certain that Bosch in Hildesheim, Germany would take you for their automotive department. As a bonus, there are always dozens of Indians from Bosch, Bangalore, on site, so you wouldn't be lonely :-) – Mawg says reinstate Monica Oct 5 '18 at 6:53
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If it's any consolation you are far from alone in this situation and chances are good that it is nothing to do with you personally or your skills.

I can't speak for Canada or Japan but from a European perspective the legislative barriers to hiring a non-EU citizen can be quite high for companies so it often isn't as simple as whether the company wants to hire you or not.

In order to hire a non-EU citizen (or more specifically one with out an existing work permit/right to work via family/marriage or whatever) a company has to "sponsor" the candidate for the visa process.

This is perhaps best described as a bureaucratic nightmare - it takes a significant amount of time (typically this can be ~ 2 months, allegedly it can be as low as three weeks but I've never seen it happen) and effort to apply to sponsor and the outcome is by no means guaranteed.

Depending on the country (it varies between different bits of Europe) this process can involve:

  • Providing travel dates and proof of paid travel
  • Providing proof of health insurance
  • Proof of ID documents (typically a passport)
  • Proof of sustainable long-term accommodation

If the application is denied then tough luck, the company doesn't get to employ you and has wasted both the time and money they invested in doing it - cost varies depending on country and length of stay but in the UK it starts at £1000 for stays of less than 12 months and rises to £5000 if it's for the maximum five years, you don't get the job and everyone has to start all over again.

And the chances of the application getting denied are insanely high - the company has to demonstrate that they have been unable to satisfactorily fill the position with an EU citizen, and that means ALL of Europe, not just their own country or that the specific candidate is truly exceptional and posseses qualities that would be difficult to find "locally" - and even then some countries heavily restrict which types of job and what industries can be considered.

The odds are slightly better if your occupation is on the country's "shortage list" (each EU/EEA country maintains it's own) and the cost is reduced too but the conditions for being approved remain the same. Note that being on the "shortage list" is not the same thing as there merely being high demand for those workers, supply has to be low too and typically to make it on the list the occupation (and sometimes the occupation as applied to a specific industry) has to also be considered "economically crucial". So looking on the countries jobs boards and seeing x hundred vacancies for Android developers is largely meaningless by itself.

So all things considered it shouldn't be a surprise that many EU companies don't even entertain the notion (all of this applies to typical "skilled" permanent jobs - temporary, seasonal, and certain niche occupations such as entertainment, sports, etc. are considered differently but none of that is relevant to you OP so I won't bore you with it)

From my own experiences (on the company side in the UK, not as a candidate) the company had been struggling to fill a fairly specialized position for several months (there were less than half a dozen companies in the country that did this particular type of work) and eventually reached the point where we had two viable candidates. By far the preferred candidate was a Chinese national and the hiring manager and in fact everyone in management was keen to hire them so HR made inquiries about sponsoring them for a work permit and were advised that even with the difficulty we had finding suitable candidates, the specialized nature of the job, and the the stand-out nature of the candidate that our chances of getting it approved were effectively zero.

More specifically for your case I note from your post that you are an Android developer, this isn't on the UK's shortage list (and hasn't been at any point in the last 7 years) so for now at least the UK is probably a complete non-starter for you, although post-Brexit who can say but I wouldn't hold out much hope there.

EDIT: I may as well add in the Canadian knowledge I do have in case it's useful

Canada:

Without knowing your exact circumstances I can't say for sure but you may be eligible for what they call an "Employer Specific Work Permit", similar to the EU work permits these require you to work for a specific company who have agreed to sponsor you.

Again this is another adventure in red tape! (although not as horrible as the EU one)

Before a Canadian company can hire a foreign worker they first have to complete a "Labour Market Impact Assessment" (basically showing that what they are doing doesn't hurt Canadian employment prospects) and have that approved, if successful this is then valid for a maximum of 6 months - if they don't hire a foreign worker to start in this time it's back to square one.

Once they have made an offer to the foreign candidate the candidate then needs to apply for the Work Permit, the exact criteria for acceptance vary but in general terms you have to:

  • prove you will leave Canada when your work permit expires (they can be extended but you have to prove you will leave if they don't)
  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and any family members/dependents during your stay in Canada (and to return home once it expires)
  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (they may require a certification of this from your home country's polce)
  • not be a danger to Canada’s security
  • be in good health (may require you to have a medical exam)
  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” (if the employer has breached conditions for employing foreign workers in the past they may be banned from doing so for a period of time)
  • not plan to work for an employer who offers..erm..(there's no nice way of putting this..)adult services
  • provide any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country (this can be almost anything - it's the catch all clause)

Although you can't apply for the work permit before you have the offer with an employer with an LMIA it would probably help your case when applying to Canadian employers if you were able to provide them with some evidence to suggest that you would meet these criteria (as then they know that it's not just going to be kicked straight out if they decide to make an offer) but there's still no guarantee and remember that you're still asking them to take on and administrative and compliance burden that they wouldn't face with a local candidate so you need to be persuasive that you are worth the effort.

  • Thanks for deep insight, from your suggestions I think I should not waste time applying for EU countries and should try to focus on other ones. can you suggest particular country that might be more suitable considering my origin and experience? – nightfury101 Oct 5 '18 at 5:25
  • @nightfury101 I'm afraid not.. it's somewhat outside my area of expertise but I hope you manage to find something suitable! – motosubatsu Oct 5 '18 at 8:13
  • thanks again. I will do some more research on this. – nightfury101 Oct 5 '18 at 8:45
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Each country has different laws to allow foreign workers to take up jobs. What you are looking for is a VISA sponsorship with a job. There are 3 ways of getting this done

  1. Get a Permanent Residency (PR). A few countries like Canada, Australia have a PR process through which you can apply. It takes some time ( can take upto 6 months, varies by country). Once your PR is done, you can legally visit the country and apply for a job as a local. This can be expensive.

  2. Look for a job which specifically mentions will provide visa sponsorship. This might be very rare now a days.

  3. Apply through a consultant/ 3rd party who will process the visa for you. This model is popular in US. This means that you wont get full salary for the role( the consultant will take a cut or a flat fee). But you can shift after an year.

The online way is very difficult now a days and can be hard to crack. You can keep working for these geographies remotely via sites like upwork and get paid an hourly rate. If you find a big client who is ready to sponsor you after reviewing your work, you may get a chance that way rather than applying directly.

  • Thanks for your reply, I am from a lower middle class family and do not have strong economic background. considering this can you guide me further, I can consider other countries that have good demand for IT professionals. what other application sources can i use for applying? – nightfury101 Oct 4 '18 at 11:12
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This answer doesn't account for the legal issues of relocation as I'm not knowledgeable enough to address them. It instead offers an alternative approach I have witnessed other people take.

Find a multi-national company that has a branch in both India and the country you want to work at. Many large companies have regional offices in India, so you should have a wide choice of opportunities.

This is a long-term approach and, of course, it can't guarantee success. Normally, after working there for several years, and after you have proven yourself and grown in rank, you can run the idea, by management, of relocating to a different company location, highlighting the benefits, to them, of having you relocated. It would be an advantage if you have already worked with people from the country - you would be able to understand their culture.

I have seen people relocate to help their company fill in a position that is difficult to hire for in the other country - usually a higher-ranking job in management or software architecture. In these cases, relocation was cheaper and more convenient than finding a local candidate. Some of these people have since left the company and were able to continue their career in their new location.

Keep in mind moving to a non English-speaking country usually requires learning the local language. Language fluency and cultural awareness will place you closer to local candidates, letting prospective employers focus on the skills you can bring to their team and not how they'd need to adapt you to fit in.

  • Thank you for suggestion, I will consider this as long shot alternative. Regarding knowing another language I have litte command over spanish. – nightfury101 Oct 5 '18 at 6:29
  • "Relocation was cheaper and more convenient than finding a local candidate". This is actually crucial. People are brought to Europe if they are considerably cheaper than the locals. So foreigners are normally paid less than locals with the same skills. A thing to consider when taking the decision to move. – BigMadAndy Oct 5 '18 at 13:10
  • The US has a special visa type, L1, for intra-company transfers. Check whether any of the target countries has something like that, and find out the conditions. – Patricia Shanahan Oct 5 '18 at 23:05
  • @385703 It's a bit different when the employee is already working for the company elsewhere. Hiring is a lot safer when you know what the employee can do and how they fit into a team. – Patricia Shanahan Oct 6 '18 at 8:34
  • @PatriciaShanahan: not necessarily. I worked for a company that brings plenty of Asian IT colleagues to Europe and I know how difficult it is for them to advance and that they aren't paid what people working here are paid. – BigMadAndy Oct 6 '18 at 9:45
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First, apply to either big companies or very well funded startups. Smaller companies often don't have the means in place to arrange visa etc. Big companies in EU absolutely do.

Don't spray and pray. There are large amount of online applications from India and Pakistan for some reason, and there are quite a bit of low quality applications in them. If you get bundled up with those your chances are low. To avoid this,

  • Study American/European resumes' style and adopt it. Best just copy the template. E.g. do not include marital status, age, or plaster vendor certification icons all over the place. Don't even list them unless they are very relevant to the job. Don't list hundreds of tech keywords. For some reason all the low quality submissions seem to do this, and it will work as a negative signal.

  • Add a SHORT cover letter. Something like 1/3 or 1/2 pages long. This shows you are not one of those people who just mass click "apply".

  • List GitHub, blogs etc when you can, prominently. Non-EU candidates are more costly to interview so it's good to have a lot of info.

  • HAVE A GOOD INTERNET CONNECTION. You'll interview remotely a lot, and bad connections really suck and lower your chances.

  • HAVE GOOD LIGHTING DURING INTERVIEW, light shining in your face (not behind you). I know this sounds silly but when light is behind you it looks a bit shady.

  • Thanks for answer. I generally use default formats generated by applying websites, eg if I apply using stackoverflow jobs it auto generates my resume before applying, same with linked in. would this be a problem if I use auto-generated resumes? – nightfury101 Oct 6 '18 at 7:28
  • @nightfury101 that'd be perfectly fine. – Enno Shioji Oct 6 '18 at 7:34
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Having had some experience personally working in Japan as a foreigner (I'm from Canada originally), moving to Japan to try to work there without knowing the language is a pretty big deal. Japan is a fairly homogenous society; a very large majority of the population is ethnic Japanese and speaks only Japanese and not English or any other foreign language. As such, trying to go there as a foreigner from a non-Japanese-speaking country is going to be tough. There are some companies in Japan that you could try applying to as a foreigner; the one I previously worked for is called Rakuten and they're very open to hiring foreigners who don't speak Japanese, especially as developers. Short of Rakuten, though, I don't know of too many other companies who would be willing to sponsor a work permit in Japan for someone who does not speak Japanese as a software developer.

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