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How To Ask For H1B Visa Sponsorship: A Guide for International Job Seekers

Updated: Mar 12

What are the 4 words that will give nightmares to any International student in the US? The answer is: “We don’t sponsor visas”. 

I get it, landing your dream job is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking if you require H1B visa sponsorship. But don’t worry guys, today we will discuss how to turn that No into a Yes. And stay with us till the end because I will also share a lot of sample scripts for different scenarios to ask for H1B Visa sponsorship from your employers whether they are in India or the US. 

"Hi everyone, I am Priya from It's Ok Yaar and welcome back to our blog! If you are new today It’s ok yaar is a content platform for South Asian Immigrants and we aim to educate , entertain and empower them.

Understanding H1B Visa Sponsorship:

Before we jump in, let's clarify what sponsorship means. When an employer sponsors you for an H-1B visa, they agree to file the necessary paperwork and advocate for your work authorization in the US. This involves costs and legal obligations, so it's natural to approach the topic strategically. 

I’m sharing an approximate breakdown of the cost a company has to incur for h1B visa candidate. So, the next time anyone tells you H1B is cheap labor, show them this. 

A breakdown of Cost To Your Company To File Your 1B Visa
Cost To Your Company To File Your 1B Visa

So now you understand why H-1B sponsorship is a big deal because the company is not just investing in anyone but really cream talent. It's a commitment from your employer to invest in you and navigate the complex visa process.

But knowing when and how to ask can make all the difference.

Now of course, one thing to also keep in mind is that the annual H1B Lottery registration begins on March 1 every year. So, you definitely need to ask for sponsorship at least a couple of months in advance. 

What I want to share now is when to ask for sponsorship or when to bring in the topic of visa sponsorship during your job interviews and how to approach the topic if you’re already working on OPT in the US or in India 

Timing is everything! Here are some scenarios and suggestions:

We've also created an entire video that will help you practice further:

When to Ask For H1B Visa Sponsorship:

  • Early Screening: If a job posting mentions "visa sponsorship available," go ahead and mention your visa status in your cover letter and interview.

  • Mid-Stage Interviews: If the job posting doesn't mention sponsorship, wait until you've established rapport with the hiring manager. After a strong interview, express your interest in the position and ask if they sponsor H-1B visas.

  • Offer Stage: If you receive a job offer but no mention of sponsorship, politely inquire if they'd consider sponsoring you. Highlight your skills and value to the team.

Again these are guidelines, please take a call depending on that current situation. The more transparency the better!

Now lets deep dive a layer further on each scenario on How to Ask with some “sample scripts:”

Early in the application process: 

If the job posting mentions sponsorship or your resume clearly states your visa status, address it in your cover letter or initial interview. Transparency builds trust. 

Do your research and frame.

Here are a couple of sample script to ask for your H1B Visa:

"Many companies sponsor H-1B visas in this field and I checked the company's website but didn’t find any specific information. Can you please shed some light on your sponsorship history."

Let’s try another one:

"I'm incredibly excited about this opportunity! While I'm currently on a [your visa type] visa, I require H-1B sponsorship for full-time employment. Could you tell me more about your company's sponsorship policies?"

During the interview: 

If sponsorship isn't mentioned, assess the interview flow. If it feels like a good fit, consider asking directly, like: "I'm excited about this opportunity. Could you confirm if your company sponsors H-1B visas for this position?" 

After a strong interview with an almost confirmed offer you can say something like this:

"Thank you so much for the offer! I'm thrilled about the prospect of joining your team. Given my visa status, I'd appreciate discussing potential H-1B sponsorship as part of the overall compensation package."

After an offer: 

Once you have an offer, negotiate the sponsorship details clearly. Discuss fees, limitations, and expectations with the HR department.

You can use this sample script:

"In the interview, I mentioned needing sponsorship. Could you tell me more about your company's process and any associated fees for this position?" 

I’ll share one more on Negotiating sponsorship:

"I'm truly honored by your offer, and I believe I can significantly contribute to your team. While I require H-1B sponsorship, I'm confident my skills and experience justify this investment. I'm open to discussing different sponsorship options to find a mutually beneficial solution." 

If You’re on OPT Already Working For a Company

If you are on OPT and already working for the company, do research on your company policies and understand the roles they have offered sponsorship for in the past - this is best done not just by focussing on the company website but talking to people internally in the company and building a strong network so that you can have many advocates before the process. 

You can also check out this website: In the company section type your company’s name and you’ll be able to see the entire visa sponsorship history of your company. 

Sample scripts:

"I've been with your company on OPT for [X] years and have consistently exceeded expectations. I'm passionate about [mentioning company mission or values] and believe I can make a significant contribution as a full-time employee. I'm confident that sponsoring my H-1B visa would be a mutually beneficial investment."

Here’s another one:

“I wanted to let you know that my OPT status might require sponsorship in the next few months and wanted to discuss my options since I have made significant contributions to the company. As I have established through my work, I am a highly motivated and skilled professional that deeply relates with the values of the companies and can bring a lot to the table given the opportunity”

How To Ask For H1B Visa sponsorship If You’re in India:

I know that a lot of people are also watching this video in India and would want their companies to sponsor their H1B visas. India however is quite tricky if you’re working for large IT companies such as Infosys, TCS, cognizant etc. because a lot of times in those companies hierarchy takes precedence over talent. That may not always be the case but it’s quite predominant.

Regardless, if you’re working on a project that does have an onsite opportunity to the US here’s what you should do:

  1. Build Good Relationship with your Manager: Whether you like it or not, the decision of filing for your h1b lies in their hands. So, try to maintain a good working relationship with your manager. You don’t necessarily have to be their best friend.

  2. Build Credibility: Let your work shine. Take up high impact projects that gives your visibility with the client

  3. Speak up: Contribute during your client calls. Don’t be afraid to contradict the client. They usually appreciate people with a different perspective.

  4. Build a Relationship with your client: this will help you when you ask your manager to sponsor your h1b visa.

Now, here’s a sample script that you can use with your manager:

“I wanted to let you know that I’m extremely interested in the opportunity of going onsite to the US and working for a few years. I’ve been an extremely valuable resource for the team as well as the client. I have a great working relationship with the client which I think is a plus for anyone working directly with them. I’m sure my skills will be great value add to our onsite team and I’ll be able to contribute significantly to the team’s efforts from there”

How to ask, let’s discuss the tone:

  • Be Direct and Transparent: Don't beat around the bush – mention your visa status upfront and state your interest in sponsorship.

  • Focus on Value: Explain how your skills and experience directly benefit the company and fill a specific need. Quantify your contributions with data or examples.

  • Be confident and prepared: Research the company's sponsorship history and showcase your skills and value.

  • Highlight your long-term commitment: Express your desire to contribute to the company's success for the full duration of the visa.

  • Be open to negotiation: Discuss potential cost-sharing arrangements or alternative work arrangements, if applicable.

An employee asking for H1B sponsorship in USA
An employee asking for H1B sponsorship in USA

Remember, asking about H-1B sponsorship can feel daunting, but with the right knowledge and approach, you can confidently negotiate and land your dream job.!

We hope these sample scripts were helpful. Use them and let us know if it worked for you. And if things aren’t going your way right now, they soon will. It’s Ok Yaar. Until next time. Have a wonderful day. 

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