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H1B for Architects

Aug 26 '13 14 Last Comment
abhifirewall
Aug 26, 13 3:04 pm

I've done my 5 year degree in B.Arch from India in 2011 and currently have 3 years of experience including 6 months internship. I'm currently working for an architecture firm in the UK.

I'll be moving to the US in Denver, CO in another few months with my husband who will be on work visa and I'll be on dependent visa.

I was looking for options to work in Denver but would need sponsorship from an Architecture firm for H1B visa or go for M.Arch in UC Denver (Spring/Fall 2014).

How much chances do I have to get visa sponsorship for work?

Please suggest if I should try for work visa or start preparing for M.Arch.

 

Mike WakefieldMike Wakefield
Aug 26, 13 3:27 pm

Lots of opportunities in Denver! Great city w/ a lot to offer.

Per the sponsorship visa - you'll never know until you try. I would start firing off emails w/ a 5 page PDF w/ your work samples, details of your skill set (incl. BIM, construction drawings, & sustainable design) to every interesting firm in the area. Maybe check in w/ the local AIA and go from there.

Lian Chikako Chang
Aug 29, 13 11:44 am

As far as I understand, H1B visas may hit their cap on the first day of applications in the spring. When that happens, it goes to a lottery, which means that even with an employer who sponsors you and a perfect application, you're not guaranteed a visa. Sadface. 

That said, odds are still quite good if you can find an employer to sponsor you. 

Though your situation might be different based on your husband's visa and whatnot. A consult with an immigration lawyer could be worth it (I've done it and it can be free or up to $200 for a 30 minute phone call.)

jyoghosh
Feb 20, 14 12:04 am

I am a registered Architect from India. I have moved with my husband to US in 2011. Currently, I am on H4 visa. I have work experience of 13 years in India with the most leading Developers like Nitesh, K. Raheja and Gesco. I have worked with US Architects like WATG, KPF and Callison while being the in-house Architect from the Client's side. Is there any chances of getting H1 sponsorship, so that I could work in US?. I am in North California now.

Maria MujicaMaria Mujica
Feb 21, 14 6:04 pm

I done my Bach in 2008, have 5 years experience in Venezuela and Australia. I am planning to keep extending my international experience in US.

I am looking for states with a good options of job offers. What cities can i consider?

any advice will be helpful!

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Feb 21, 14 6:11 pm

H1B, is that like H1N1?

gwharton
Feb 24, 14 12:26 pm

It's EXACTLY like that, Miles.

ujjavallalwani
Aug 2, 16 11:32 pm

Hi..! I did my Architecture in batch 2010 from India and i have an experience of 1 year. I am planning to do my Masters from USA ; ( M.Arch/Landscape). But i am worried about the chances to get a work Visa later after my PG program is done. Should I go with the odds and go for USA or i might have a better chance if i study from University of Sydney, Australia. 

cipyboy
Aug 3, 16 1:46 am

From what I have heard H1B visa sponsorship for foreign architects was so easy back in the days pre recession. During recession , local unemployment numbers went as high as 20% for new graduates- currently were still recovering. The best chance I guess is go for student visa- but having said that, ask around for newly foreign graduates whether they have found any sponsorship after school.
Things won't be better if in any case Trump wins the election :)

cipyboy
Aug 3, 16 1:47 am

From what I have heard H1B visa sponsorship for foreign architects was so easy back in the days pre recession. During recession , local unemployment numbers went as high as 20% for new graduates- currently were still recovering. The best chance I guess is go for student visa- but having said that, ask around for newly foreign graduates whether they have found any sponsorship after school.
Also it doesn't help, if in any case Trump wins the election :)

Bloopox
Aug 3, 16 3:07 pm

I tried to hire people this way a few times pre-recession.  It was definitely not easy, even then.  The main stumbling block is the prevailing wage requirement.  The problem is that the way this is determined for H1B purposes is by using the 50th percentile for all people in that role in that field in that region.  Unlike roles in some other fields, those in architecture are not broken down very finely - there are basically only two categories: "architect", and "CAD drafter".  So we basically couldn't hire somebody on an H1B unless we could offer them the 50th percentile for all architects in the region - regardless of experience level.  Example: the 50th percentile for all architects in this region is about 68k - but the typical salary for someone with 3 years of experience is much lower, around 45k.  So if we want to hire you, with 3 years of experience, on an H1B, we'd have to offer you 68k - and at the same time we'd have to attest that we can't find a citizen with the same qualifications, to do the same work at the same salary. 

cipyboy
Aug 3, 16 4:06 pm

it's tough getting employed in the U.S. as a foreign architect,but that does not mean it's not possible; you have to break barriers and not leave any stone un-turned. My point is you can't just apply conveniently the same way the locals would do and hope to get picked above the rest- to get your foot on the door, you have to be in the country.  

jyoghosh/ abhifirewall, everything will be easier once you get that EAD (assuming you're applying for green card) 

On the otherhand, they hand out visas like crazy to foreign medical professionals. 

Formerlyunknown
Aug 3, 16 8:32 pm

It seems like there's a lot of corruption, or at least the expectation of it, in this process.  I say that because in my firm several of the times that I've interviewed someone who would require sponsorship they have been very anxious to tell me that they would be willing to pay the associated legal fees and application fees (that's illegal - the employer is required to pay the fees), and/or to accept a lower salary than I would have to offer "on paper" (also illegal), and/or to actually pay me upfront to sponsor them (illegal, though I suppose more difficult than the others to get caught at).  I've not hired anybody who made such an offer, because if someone is willing to do something dishonest to get the job in the first place, how do I trust them in my employment?  Maybe it's a cultural thing - perhaps this is the norm in employment related matters in some cultures, I'm not sure, but it doesn't sit right with me.

cipyboy
Aug 4, 16 9:37 am

@Formerly, its a sign of desperation, for someone to try and hustle their way to the country in that manner. It reveals an issue much bigger than the architectural profession. But kudos on your good sense of judgement.

Zuni
Aug 4, 16 10:25 am

Hi abhifirewall,
It is not easy to get a job if you don't have a work permit to work in the U.S. I don't want to discourage you, always keep trying and with the experience level that you have you might end up getting one. You never know !
I feel the first step would be connecting to the local AIA chapter. Attend programs and connect with architects. You don't have to get membership of AIA. You can also check job posting on AIA website.
Also check website site like Craglist.com. You can find all local job openings around. Also try and connect to recruiters sometime That might also work out.
Working in the U.S. Is very different than India. Give time to your self to understand things around and I am sure you will get to work here. Good luck !!

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