Candidates who are not US citizens or permanent residents

need to have authorization to work in the US in order to apply.


I’m a recent graduate from germany and I want to get an internship (to start with) in the US. This seem s to be quite difficult as in all the job offers on coroflot there is always the remark that
“Candidates who are not US citizens or permanent residents need to have authorization to work in the US in order to apply.”

Would it be too much effort for a US company or design consultancy to get a visa for a european employee??? or is that just not possible, because they have to take US-people first?

Is it really that difficult for a european resident to get a design job in the US?
And what about internships?

Are there any non-US-citizens who work in the US? and could you tell me how they managed?

best wishes,

I know what you are talking about and I personally think is not correct. How could a company that sells products all over the world do that kind of hiring? Wouldn’t it be better to have multicultural staff instead?

I also know that this is a timing problem. The visa takes too long to get, and companies usually need the new employees ASAP.

Anyway, If you are really good, you don’t have to worry too much about this issue.

Why don’t you go on and search the forum? I think we have been trough this subject before. Maybe you’ll find more info.

Finally, I would like you to consider that you guys are doing the same in europe…

First I agree that this is a sad state of affairs.

I think the companies do it because it takes so much time and money to get someone an employment visa in the US.

Just think of the amount of time the supposed Homeland Security must take looking over every candidates application (I would put a smiley face here to show I am joking, but who knows?)

From what I understand the process to get a working visa for work in the US coming from a EU country can be pretty difficult and long. Im not sure exactly why, because I believe the reverse in not necessarily the case (ie. US getting a visa to work in Europe).

There are some exceptions (ie, Canadian designers can get a TN-1 NAFTA visa), and maybe there are also exceptiosn relating to Industrial Designers as a professional worker, but Im not sure.

I would agree to searching the forums here and also a google search or search on the State Department website could help.

best of luck to you.

Im now working in Denmark (not 100% part of the EU (EC?) coming from Canada, and the process was pretty easy for my sponsoring company, but in the light of recent world events, perhaps the US has a different view on international and global economy factors vs. other things…


I work at a consultancy where we frequently run into tis problem. A lot of it’s the cost and commitment to sponsor someone. I’m not sure of the specifics but I think it’s a few years and a few thousand dollars. It’s not unheard of for it to happen, I see it more when someone interns as a student when they’re not allowed to make any money then the company will sponsor them after they graduate.

I am not US citizen or permanent resident and currently work with H-1B visa.
There is certain amount of visas INS issues every year and usually the cap is met right away. My recommendation is to do some research on J-1 (internship) visa witch is much easer to get.
Overall the path is complicated especially if you are just out of school with no experience at all. Finding the company in EU with offices in US would be my best bet.

I totally understand what you are talking about.
In US, you must have a valid work permit or visa through school or company. If you are a student in US school, you can have interships during school semester or in summer because school will certify you to do that and company will hire you(very competitive to get a position as you might know) as an intern for a short period of time normally 3 months.
However, if you aren’t a student, the only chance that company will consider you is that you must be an exceptional designer or has an excellent track record. Company will not spend money to sponsor you for someone with no experience and they won’t even bother to go through a work visa thing. US design companies in general have very narrow doors for foreign designers especially students.

Thanks anuschka for raising this issue. I’m a recent graduate too, from the UK, and it is really frustrating to see all those junior designer positions advertised on Coroflot. But then you realise it’s for US candidates only. In the EU we can go and work in any member state with hardly any work, let alone expense. Frustrating :confused: Does anyone have any specific experience being sponsored or getting a visa?

I am actually sponsored by an H1-B visa. and yes, the process is arduous and time consuming. A lot of companies will throw your resume away as soon as they see “require visa”, which in my opinion lowers the chances of sometimes landing truly talented folk.

I interned here in the US and A because I went right after school, so I had a full year of OPT. After that, time was cutting short, and last minute a company really wanted me and I got lucky. Its a lot of paperwork and a few thousand dollars for a company to sponsor, but i think some people are misinformed and scared more than they should be from sponsoring talent.

Has anyone transfered from one job to another while being under a H1-B visa or similar? just curious if one has to go through the process all over again.

d-flux is right. A lot of companies don’t want to get in to those who need sponsor to work. It is not a difficult process if you and they know what needs to be done, but sadly enough almost no one wants to hear “require work visa”, most companies will simply ignore you unless you have an excellen job history.

It costs around 2K to get a H1-B work visa through an immigration lawyer. Most companies think it costs more than 10k, that is true when you sponsor a “green card” through a lawyer and you need a lawyer.

Only thing that company has to do as fas as sponsoring H1-B to a foreign designer is sign a few paper work and pay 2k, the lawyer will do the work.

US candidates only pxxx me off too. I had number of interviews with various companies and got offered, then changed their mind after they found out that I needed a sponsorship. There are almost none EOE in design companies here. Sorry but it’s true. 2k and some paper work are too much to ask for I guess.

For d-flux, once you find another job and they are willing to sponsor you, you don’t have to wait until April, you can file a transfer H1-B form anytime and same number of documentations you submitted last time. Transfer H1-B however, is very quick process and you don’t have to wait 6months again.

thank you everybody for your comments and advice.

I never thought it would be so difficult to get a job in the US, but I figured out that in my position (right out of school) there will hardly be any chance.

As you told me I did some research into the past posts on this forum and found something on this topic. (which is also quite depressing to read though)
For everybody who is interested in this matter, it is a topic raised by a person called “sketcher”, with the title “Relocating to USA from London”.

thank you silke for your suggestion to start with a job in an international company here in europe, which has design-offices in the US. That might be a good and easier way to get there finally…

about the J-1 (internship visa), I suppose that you have to be enrolled in a school, which is too late for me now. Or do you even have to be enrolled in a school in the US?
Does anybody know more about this J-1 visa, and how to obtain it…?

I’m currently looking at going down this route. Im a final year irish student looking to intern in the US and the good news is the visa part seems quite easy.
Basically you need a sponsor first, this isnt the design company, its a separate organisation. Only U.S. Department of State-designated sponsors are authorized to issue and send to you the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019 form) that you need to obtain the J-1 Trainee Visa. Theres probably one linked to your country, try the local youth travel offices and you might be able to do it through them. Failing that try CIEE or CICD or USArts CICD seems to be much cheaper though i dont know why. The CICD site has a lot of good information about the whole thing. Your travel office will be using one of these type sponsors anyway.

They can help you find intern positions but due to the shortage and competition for ID intern placements the sponsors arent much help. So you have to find one on youre own. If you get one, the sponsor company will contact them and get them to fill out forms outlining your training programe and make sure its all above board. Once thats sorted theyll issue your DS - 2019 form and you’ll have an interview at your nearest US embassy. I did this for a J1 work and travel visa last summer and they just ask a couple questions through a window and take your fingerprints, nothing formal at all.

The visa lasts up to 18months with 1 month travel after that if u want. My local student travel office USIT said i had to commence my programe within 6months of graduation, but the CIEE website (the sponsorship company they use) said 12 months and when i was emailing USArts they said 3years so it doesnt appear to be to strict from the US side just different organisations making their own rules. The cost is between €600 and €1500 depending on length of program and you must have health insurance aprox $50/month. Though CICD seem to only be $550… i have to check this out though

I think thats about it. Main part is it doesnt cost your intern company anything (you should stress this when applying) as you pay for the visa costs but you have to make sure youre getting an intern position and its not a junior/entry level one, ie youre not taking an american job. If youve anymore q’s let me know. Im only starting looking for an internship so fingers crossed it all works out.

Oh and as for other visas you really have to be further along in your career and be doing well for them to sponsor you to come over (H1-B visa) as it costs them and they have to prove that they couldnt find a suitable american for the position or that you are far more qualified which can be a hard thing to do.

Another option is canada. I have done a one year student visa to canada and am permited to do another one year non student visa (under 35’s i think) Those visas allow you to work in any job position for one year and the job/intern position doesnt need to be approved like in the US.

Hope that was helpful!

One of the requirements to hiring someone that needs a visa is that you have to advertise the job opening for 90 days in the “local” market. And then you have to justify how the foreigner adds higher value than local talent. For design companies this isn’t too hard to work around; just mention “added perspective”, “increased diversity”, etc…

Can someone post the names of US companies/firms who you know have or are willing to sponser H1 candidates??

A little off topic… but it makes me laugh how some people in the US actively look for jobs in Europe. And then I often read about people from Europe wanting jobs in the US. I can’t help but think, “You’re in Germany! Why do you want to come to the US?!” Haha - just something I found entertaining.

hello there,

shelliestar* wow, thank you so much for your detailled information!!! That sounds really interesting, I’ll have to check that out. Sorry for the delay, I haven’t checked this topic’s posts lately.

AUindd, good question.
Actually I don’t think I want to live in the US forever, but getting a little job experience over there might be very helpful for my further “career”.
Of course I know we have a quite good level of design education here in germany aswell, but that’s what I already HAVE. Gaining some experience abroad is always very interesting and rewarding, for europeans as well as for US-residents.

For me it is also very much about getting a good grasp of the language. If I would have work experience in ENGLISH, I might get a job everywhere in the world.
The other way round I imagine it would be difficult to get a job in the US at a later date, if I don’t have this experience in an english-speaking environment.
That’s why I am interested in STARTING there with an internship.

And finally you have quite a lot of interesting design companys out there on the west coast. Especially those who are kind of sports-leisure-fashion-style driven. Also in terms of footwear the US seems a good place. At least you get the impression by following this core77-forum, with all those really talented people. ****

good call. My post was more of an “observation,” rather than a real question…

Also - it seems as though you have an exceptional grasp of english already.