Oscar de Lima, a 25-year-old native of Caracas, Venezuela, seems like an appealing job candidate: He’s smart, ambitious, articulate and has an MBA from an American university.
Yet, one of the biggest hurdles facing international students like de Lima, who recently attended an MBA job fair at McCormick Place in Chicago, is whether they can work in the United States once their student visas expire. Most can’t, and they fight an uphill battle to find a job in the country’s shrinking job market.
Before an employer can hire a noncitizen in a specialized field, it must obtain a H-1B visa from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The employer must prove that it searched far and wide for qualified Americans or permanent residents and the noncitizen is the best candidate. Fees can add thousands of dollars to the process.
For some companies, the paperwork and costs aren’t worth the effort.
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Read: “International students with MBAs struggle to land jobs in U.S.,“ an article by the Chicago Tribune.