All job applications in USA require candidates to mention if they need the company to sponsor a visa now or in the future (i.e sponsorship). You need sponsorship if you have short term visas like OPT, H1B etc. On the other hand, you don't need sponsorship if you have long term work privileges like US citizenship, green card/GC or similar.

Unfortunately, quite likely that companies in the US break the law by willfully rejecting suitable candidates who don't need sponsorship (examples below). There are other tricks to reject citizens/gc, for example, by posting job ads in obscure local news papers which no one reads, paying advertising companies to post job ads but not actually posting the ads etc. Not all companies do this, but some do because they know they can pay H1B workers far less than the market wages. On the other hand, some companies simply replace their workers with H1B workers (examples below).

Hence, I wonder if Citizens/Green card holders could improve their chances of at least getting an interview by simply lying about their visa on job applications of SOME companies (not all), i.e. by saying that they will need sponsorship. The companies where you could lie might have small revenues, prone to offshoring, had recent layoffs, i.e. are more likely to commit visa fraud.

What are the consequences of telling such a lie ? Upon selection, the company might assert they can reject you simply because you lied about visa. IMO, this is not a material lie, i.e. no one is actually harmed by this lie. On the contrary, the company actually benefits because they don't have to worry about visa restrictions or expiry for a long time. But, the downside is that they are forced to pay market level wages.

Examples of fraud in H1B hiring :

1 - united states v Marijan Cvjeticanin - Google this. Its basically a case of paying companies to post job ads which offer h1b, but jobs were not actually posted. https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-nj/legacy/2013/11/29/Cvjeticanin%2C%20Marijan%20Complaint.pdf

2 - Southern california edison - https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/12/fixing-h-1b-visa-loophole/509639/

3 - Disney - https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/us/last-task-after-layoff-at-disney-train-foreign-replacements.html The American workers lost this case though - https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-bz-disney-lawsuit-workers-20180508-story.html

4 - Harley Davidson - https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/amid-h-1b-visa-lawsuit-harley-davidson-execs-meet-trump-n716106

UPDATE : Why would someone want to work for a company which they think might be abusing H1B visas ? I can think of some reasons for doing this.

1) If the employer is desperate and your expected salary is just low enough, then they might keep you. Having a job during this pandemic is quite important. You can always switch once the pandemic is over.

2) Say that you get an offer, get rejected only due to lying about your visa and then the job is given to someone on a H1B (you can dig to find out). Then, you can take action against the company.

3) Free interview practice.

  • You have compiled a list of companies that are quite well known for being rather abusive of their tech employees. Why would you want to work for such a company? May 23, 2020 at 17:50
  • So you lie on your resume, go through the hiring process and are hired, at some point you have to have work authorization. If you already have it, at which point your lie will be discovered, and you will be fired for that lie. I don't see the point, why would you want to work for a company, who abuses the visa (i.e. H1B) process?
    – Donald
    May 23, 2020 at 19:09
  • @DavidHammen - Updated to include reasons for working for such a company. May 23, 2020 at 19:50
  • @Donald - Please see my update. May 23, 2020 at 19:50

2 Answers 2


Should Citizens & Green Card holders lie about their visa status on job applications?

No. Don't lie. Most employers prefer not to offer jobs to liars.

  • 1
    Understood. Unfortunately, many companies are liars and even criminals (i.e commit visa fraud). They can get away with committing fraud easily (especially if they have star legal team), but the average job seeker can get punished for telling essentially harmless lies on a job application. May 23, 2020 at 19:53
  • 3
    @ErranMorad: Harmless lies are things like telling your spouse "No, you look great in those pants." When it comes to your career and your resume, there are no harmless lies. May 24, 2020 at 4:13
  • @JoelEtherton - ok. A person already has a work permit, but says that he does not. Could you please tell me how this lie causes harm ? May 28, 2020 at 19:17
  • 1
    @ErranMorad: A company may mobilize resources to begin working on his/her behalf to arrange such a permit. This is a waste of personnel time as well as potentially an internal budgetary commit where a department may lose assignment of a work permit sponsorship. If there is a cost to the permit this would result in a monetary cost. In any case, the lie damages the integrity of the person telling the lie. When you lie, regardless of the "harm" you perceive, you damage your reputation and your integrity. May 28, 2020 at 20:06

If I hired someone who lied about anything on their resume they would be terminated the moment I found out. For something this important, even if I was sponsoring visas for openings, if someone lied about the need during the hiring process and then requested a sponsorship after getting hired, they would be immediately terminated and walked out of the building on the spot.

There is no room for this lack of integrity anywhere in an organization.

It doesn't matter to me if someone is the most talented {whatever} and super likable. I will feel bad for their family and people who depend on them, and it won't change anything.

This is just the softest consequence. I'm not a legal expert, but I expect this kind of thing may hamper future sponsorship attempts. There might even be legal consequences beyond that. If you're brought in through a recruiter, you may damage that person's/company's reputation and cost them money in the operation.

Do not lie on any part of your resume for any reason.

  • 1
    Joel, I think you misunderstood my question. I am NOT talking about needing sponsorship and saying that you don't need it. I am asking the opposite, i.e you don't need sponsorship, but you say that you need it. May 23, 2020 at 19:49
  • 2
    @ErranMorad - That's still a lie. You have two answers that both say not to lie on a resume. Just don't do it. May 24, 2020 at 1:17
  • 2
    @ErranMorad: I didn't misunderstand any part of your question. My answer stands. Do not lie on your resume for any reason. May 24, 2020 at 4:11
  • @JoelEtherton if you correctly understood it, why do you talk about it hampering future visa sponsorships or immediately terminating someone when they request a sponsorship after saying they didn't need one? I understand if you don't feel like the specifics of the lie change your answer about whether or not it's okay to do, but your answer now does read like you misunderstood the question, and it's not obvious your advice would be the same if you did understand it.
    – Kat
    May 24, 2020 at 15:54
  • 1
    @kat I bolded the supremely relevant portions. It is NEVER OK to lie on a resume. Specifics are irrelevant. OP asked about consequences of telling such a lie. Those are consequences of telling such a lie. Perhaps you can tell me where I've misunderstood, and please share with us when you think it's appropriate to lie. May 24, 2020 at 16:03

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