Can a H1b dependent work in the US?

Applying in the United States: Application Rules

The easiest way to find an - initially temporary - job in the US is through on-the-job training programs offered by organizations.


Finding a permanent job in the USA through a job advertisement is very difficult for German applicants due to the strict visa laws. In order to still come to the USA for work, it is advisable for young academics to seek entry via a training program with a visa of the J1 category. The J1 visa ("cultural exchange visa") allows you to stay in the USA for up to 18 months in order to complete an internship or to obtain further "on-the-job" training. With a little luck - and thanks to local contacts - more can develop out of it.

Expert tip: There is an unlimited number of J1 visas for students and young professionals. On the other hand, H1B visas, which would be suitable for skilled workers, are only issued annually around 60,000 - and not only for German applicants, but for interested parties from all countries. (Gerald Schomann, Team Leader "Specialists and Managers International", Central Office for Employment Services - ZAV, Bonn)

Legal sponsors arrange training jobs

J1 visas cannot be applied for individually. To get them, applicants must contact an organization (called "Legal Sponsors") that is recognized by the State Department as a provider of training programs for foreigners. Fees range from $ 700 to $ 2,500, depending on the length of stay and educational background of the participant.

The internships and on-the-job training courses are partly arranged by the organizations, and partly the participants have to look for their host companies themselves. For a stay to be recognized as continuing professional development, it is usually sufficient if the applicant also works in the US in the job he has learned. The training courses are remunerated. Depending on the industry and previous knowledge, you can earn anywhere from $ 500 to $ 4,000. Financial service providers pay best.

Expert tip: The German-American Chamber of Commerce in New York also places applicants in training programs - in-house and with around 700 member companies. Students, graduates and young professionals up to the age of 35 can contact us. Interested parties from the business sector have good prospects of a successful placement. Anyone who has completed an apprenticeship, for example as a lawyer and notary assistant, industrial clerk, and foreign language correspondent, is also eligible for the program. (Julia Arnold, Recruiting Manager in the Career Service of the German American Chamber of Commerce Inc., New York)

Where to apply proactively?

If you want to find your internship or training yourself, write to interesting companies on your own initiative. The applicant must not forget to point out in the cover letter that there will be no visa problems with him as a program participant. Internet search engines (search for industry and city), the yellow pages or, for a guest fee, the directory of members of the German-American Chamber of Commerce are available for researching addressees for speculative applications.

Search via the Internet and on site

If you are looking for a permanent position in Germany despite the difficulties of obtaining a visa, you should also take a look at the job offers on the Internet job exchanges and the Federal Employment Agency. The German-American Chamber of Commerce is also a point of contact: It is not only involved in arranging J1 visas, but also in the area of ​​permanent positions.

Expert tip: You can also use your vacation in the USA to look for a job. Because the probability increases if the applicant is on site and can speak directly to companies. Personal contact is very important here. (Julia Arnold, German American Chamber of Commerce, New York)

So is chosen

Companies in the USA are primarily concerned with the professional qualifications and personality of an applicant. From this point of view, the application documents are examined carefully and later the candidate himself. Which methods of selection are used can vary depending on the size of the company and the desired position. Personnel questionnaires are sometimes sent to the applicant before the first interview.

Expert tip: The trend in the US is to conduct interviews over the phone. This is especially true for the screening, the first contact after the application. It usually lasts around 30 minutes and is used to pre-select the applicants. (Dagmar Giersberg, author, Bonn)

Follow up the conversation

Those who made it to the second interview are usually invited to an on-site interview if they are looking for a higher-endowed position. However, the applicant usually has to bear the costs for this himself.

What applies to the post-processing of the application ("follow-up call") also applies to the time after the interview: You are expected to thank you for the interview by telephone or in writing and to express your interest.

(Andrea Pawlik, 2007)

Reading tip

Dirk Neuhaus, Karsta Neuhaus:
Apply and work in the US and Canada (paperback). Ilt-Europa Verlag 2007



Learn more about applying in the United States

Important and worth knowing

Application rules

Application documents

Typical application errors

Sample resume

Recognition of degrees

The grading system

Important newspapers

Interesting links