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When applying for job where you will need an H-1B visa, I've been told it's important to wait until as late in the application process as possible to reveal that you need the employer to get you work authorization and, more importantly, pay for it.

This poses another issue, given that the standard resume template has address and phone number on it.

Some employers saw my address and immediately replied with "Local candidates only" or something to that effect.

I then took the address out but I'd imagine it was still fairly obvious based on my place of education, the phone numbers area code etc.

Should you completely remove anything from your resume that might hint at your location when a company would have to help you apply for a work visa?

  • Is this when you're applying for a job that will enable you to get a visa, or strictly just when applying for the visa? – panoptical Jun 25 '15 at 15:29
  • In this case you have to have a job offer in the US in order to be eligible for the visa, and then the employer would apply for one for you. So you would only be applying for the job. – Kieron Smith Jun 25 '15 at 15:31
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    I'd question the wisdom of waiting to reveal that you need an H1-B in the first place. Plenty of places simply don't have the infrastructure/ willingness to sponsor any H1-B visas. Sure, you'll get further along in the process but that just means that you're wasting more of everyone's time on interviews that have no realistic possibility of leading to a job offer. If you're applying somewhere that is able to sponsor H1-B visas, letting the hiring manager know early often lets the hiring manager start understanding what he or she needs to do more quickly. – Justin Cave Jun 25 '15 at 16:10
  • Well this question doesn't really apply to companies that are actively sponsoring H1-Bs as there's no real reason to hide it from them. Larger corporations typically force you to give your authorisation status on application forms, and smaller start-ups are usually ineligble. So it's more for the grey area where there's a normal job vacancy with no clear stance on willingness to sponsor visas. I'd still suggest that authorization status shouldn't be the first thing you write in your cover letter. – Kieron Smith Jun 25 '15 at 16:13
  • There is no "grey area" if the response is "local candidates only." You are just wasting the company's and your time by trying to hide this fact. – Bowen Jun 25 '15 at 18:28
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No you should not hide your location. Most job postings will say something like "candidate must be authorized to work in the US". If the company is actually willing to sponsor a Visa, it will often say something like "will relocate and/or sponsor a Visa for the right candidate". It's the second type of jobs that you should apply for.

Sponsoring an H1B is a huge deal at the moment, partly in terms of effort & cost but also in terms of timing and uncertainty because of the stupid lottery. This can take multiple years. Most companies think very carefully upfront whether a role warrant this or not.

Even if you manage to get through the phone screen with a company that doesn't want to sponsor, eventually they will find out and in all likelihood they will be mad. A lot of time and effort was spend on a process that was a non-starter from the beginning. This may land you on the "do not hire" list for any future opportunities, even if they include sponsor ship.

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No, you should not hide that information, unless you want to appear unprofessional and deceitful.

Put yourself on the employer's shoes. What would they think when they find out at the last minute that you come with more baggage than you presented yourself earlier in the process? It would cost them time, money, and possibly the lost opportunity of hiring someone else with less baggage.

And the H1B isn't just a matter of time and money. In some years, it is also luck of the draw, literally. So it is a big deal to some employers especially of the position is time-sensitive.

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