Working in the US after college (please help!)

New rcc
Apr 21 38 Comments

Hey guys. I'm an incoming freshman for a top US university (CS major), and I'd really appreciate some advice on how I can stay in the US as a software engineer.

From what I've read, the path is:
1. get an offer after graduation by grinding LC, projects, and internships
2. get the company to sponsor you for a H1-B (32% chance to win the lottery last year)
3. I get 3 shots at a H1-B (3 years) since I have 12+24 months of OPT

What happens if I get unlucky (around a 30% chance statistically) and can't get a H1-B after three years? Internal transfer to Canada? Forced to return to my home country? The company might try for a EB-1 or O-1 if I'm a good performer?

I've been coding since I was 12 and am pretty immersed in American culture, and I honestly would like nothing more than to have the opportunity to eventually get a green card and live in the USA. Is my understanding of everything correct? Is there anything I can do to boost my chances of staying (eg. Other visas?)

Last question (sorry for the long post!): Do you guys think it's possible to save $500k from 3 years of work in tech + internships during college? (20k in savings rn, nothing significant) That way I could invest in an EB-5 visa after my OPT runs out if I don't get a H1-B.

Thanks again for reading (and hopefully sharing your experience with me)!

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TOP 38 Comments
  • SAP Blague
    I don’t know whether I should feel sympathy or disgust. Look I get it you are young and everything but for your own good stop worshipping US like it is the ultimate goal to happiness. Sure, tech companies are well-paying and more advanced than rest of the world but 2 things will happen with your mindset. 1) You will be always stressed because this process of greencard/citizenship is a long one and you need to invest in a lot of applications to keep up and one misstep could mean the end of the journey 2) Companies take advantage of pending applications and your desperate attempts to stay to keep you on a leash.

    My advise, relax a bit but be prepared. Give it your best but don’t rely on it like you can’t be happy anywhere else. There are a lot of opportunities at other places and tech is advancing all over the world.

    I speak from experience. I am currently in the process of H1B and I find it appalling how the government gives 0 f’s about this process. Who the hell grants visas by lottery for f’s sake? Why are greencards capped by countries and not in proportion to the population/applicants from a country? Why do we print documents and send then via mail to USCIS, they can simplify everything by investing in some decent web application. The simple answer is the government gives 0 f’s about you. So why are you so willing to be their biyatch?

    PS: My H1b results are pending and I give absolutely no sheets if I get selected unlike some people here who keep asking every 10 minutes if results were announced. If it happens it happens. Otherwise I move with my gf to France or move to Canada where I have triggered the PR process. Btw you can get PR in Canada in under 3 years with your qualifications after graduation.

    TL;DR: Chill. Life is too short to be someone’s slave
    Apr 21 5
    • Facebook ☑️
      holy sheet
      Apr 21
    • ViaSat tchunter
      If green card aren’t cap by countries you would see all Indians and Chinese, I don’t think the US wants this. Immigrants want diversity but at the same time they want this^
      Apr 21
    • SAP Blague
      Facebook - I had to edit this fookn post 15 times before Blind told me it was free from profanity. Motherbuggers! 😂

      Tchunter - not to get political but immigrants don’t give a poop about diversity. Similarly as most US people who perceive immigration as even a slight threat to them hate immigrants. At heart everyone is selfish and wants only whats serves them. It is just that social conditioning and expectations make us act like we love everyone.
      Apr 21
    • New rcc
      OP
      Wow! Really appreciate the long response. What do you mean about companies taking advantage of pending applications? I see some people on blind complaining about H1-Bs getting lower TC and having trouble switching jobs...

      Personally I don't agree with the lottery system, but who am I to complain? I want to stay in the US and work in tech because it's where a lot of exciting innovation takes place, because the US is much more meritocratic than Asia, and because I love the culture there. I (naively, I know) want to actually make an impact through technology and I feel like the US is the best place for that.

      Anyways though, I honestly really appreciate your (and everyone else on blind's) perspective. Made me rethink some preconceived notions I had :)

      By the way, good luck with your H1-B!

      (Not from India/China btw)
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft FromMars
      He is perhaps talking about Indian consulting agencies like Infosys, Wipro and etc spamming Visa system as many of Visas go to them. They are usually far from skilled immigrants. They get paid 1/4 of others with poor benefits and create abnormality in the job market. Truly skilled and educated Indians who studied in US are suffering from these agencies as there are too many of them again clogging the green card queue which results in long wait of Green Card.
      Apr 21
  • Amazon / Eng
    zsLQ30

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    zsLQ30more
    You are thinking too much. Slow down and enjoy the ride.
    Apr 21 4
    • New rcc
      OP
      Thank you! I'm just hoping to be more informed about whether I'll be able to stay in the US - if the odds are bad, then I'll start making alternative/backup plans.
      Apr 21
    • Amazon / Eng
      zsLQ30

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      zsLQ30more
      And dream bigger. Don’t follow what seems shiny to you now.

      Most “techbros” can do better but right after college the first total comp is too good to be true. All started with good ideals then dreams slowly die. So dream bigger, focus in class, work out, get laid more. Think about other fields. Do something interesting, anything.
      Apr 21
    • New rcc
      OP
      Thanks for the advice! Actually, I'd love to start a company but without a GC/permanent residence it seems very difficult for a non-US citizen.
      Apr 21
    • Amazon / Eng leavinasap
      I agree with zsLQ30. You almost certainly aren't dreaming big enough. You haven't realized just how many opportunities there are in the US.

      Take a deep breath. Enjoy your college life. Dream BIG.
      Apr 21
  • ViaSat tchunter
    To be honest, tech in the US is nowhere like American culture. Almost 70% of your coworker would be international and if you work in the Bay, that’s nothing like a typical US city life style.
    Apr 21 1
    • New rcc
      OP
      Did an internship in the bay area and I have tons of friends who live there - from what I can tell, it's a pretty great place to live and work in all things considered! I'm surprised the international percentage is that high.
      Apr 21
  • Facebook ☑️
    Damn dude, chill...you're an incoming freshman, the only things you should be focusing on are just doing well in your classes, making friends, and getting laid, that's it.
    Apr 21 1
    • New rcc
      OP
      Haha thank you! I just want to know what the process is like and my options are. Would hate to have to leave everything behind 3 years after graduation due to not getting a H1-B :( a friend of mine who graduated from a top 20 program was forced to leave the US since he didn't win the H1-B lottery.
      Apr 21
  • New on_FIRE
    In 4 years you have no idea on state of economy or immigration policies. Impossible to determine.
    Apr 21 0
  • Amazon aGirlIsNo1
    As others have said you're probably thinking too much. But i understand the pressure moving to a different country so here's my 2 cents.

    If you're getting into a "top US university" then you'll have little problems finding internships and even part time jobs that pay good in CS provided you do your part with study and preparations and applications. With this experience, working at just about any company outside the top 5 should be easy. The top 5 have a lot of competition, so it sometimes it doesnt matter how good you are cos there're 100 others like you (unless you're just a god).

    You do get 3 shots to apply for h1b (which is a coin toss). If that doesn't work out you could go back to school to get a masters degree in STEM which would give you another 2 years STEM OPT extension (2 more h1b tries). You could even shoot for a green card during this final 2 years. After this you'd have spent ~10 years in the US.

    If that doesn't work you could leave the US to a different country but working at a big company (preferably a top 5), work for a year or so, and come back to the US with an L1(i think its called) visa.

    There're other career paths that are more certain than a regular BS in CS. A doctorate + position at a mid to top university for example is (almost) certain to give you a green card.

    Saving 500k in just 3 years out of college is difficult unless you've got some sort of passive income or started a profitable business. There're endless opportunities in the US. So be creative. Do something worthwhile and you might not even need to kiss some company's ass to get that green card.

    Also remember that the world is way bigger than the US. Just make sure you're staying for the right reasons and not spend the better part of decades trying to get a green card.

    Most of all, enjoy the damn ride.
    Apr 21 3
    • New rcc
      OP
      Oh man. Thank you so much for laying out everything so clearly like this - I didn't know about the L1 opportunity, but that sounds like a good option. What you mentioned about the "endless opportunities in the US" is precisely why I want to go there! :)
      Apr 21
    • New wrcS08
      Their is another route as well marriage .
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft FromMars
      Marriage in US is not as easy as family arrangement. You and a partner should fall in love.
      Apr 22
  • Microsoft FromMars
    OP don’t worry about this Visa and Green card phobia. We don’t know what market will be like in 4 years. Growth stops and jobs go to India and Romania, and Chinese companies rise to challenge US companies etc. AI was the least favorite specialty amongst PhDs but it became the hottest one in 3 years. Engineers salary was not that high till 2012. All of these things can easily change and you could be seeking to go to get a masters in nursing in 3 years. Future is very unpredictable with this globalized economy and technological advancement.

    If current trend continues and you are good enough to pass the interview at big tech, they will arrange to make you stay at the company via lots of ways like sending you to Canada. Visa lottery makes your life hard since you have 1/3 or 1/4 of chances but OPT gives you 3 chances. Once you have h1b, life will be fine as you will get the green card in a few years. If you are an Indian or Chinese, you have abundant chance to get a job with relatively great compensation back home but if you don’t have such an option, try to get a job at big tech and wait till getting the green card. Outside of US, India and China, engineers are not paid well including Japan so think of it as your last hope and study interview questions hard.
    Apr 22 2
    • Are you saying engineers in India and China make more than engineers in Germany? Are you crazy? Engineers in China or India make shit money unless you have a western education or experience.
      Apr 22
    • Microsoft FromMars
      Are you that dumb to think that is what I meant?

      By relatively high, it means relatively higher than locals. Indians make $20k as a new grad in tech as a software engineer. Compare that to average income of $2300. That is more than 8 times.

      Germany is a bad example by the way. It pays very low many Chinese companies offer better compensation such as Alibaba and Huawei. I have a few friends who worked in Germany (Infineon, Deutsche Telekom after masters and PhD).

      We are also talking about the people who studied in US as we are talking about OP. That means someone educated in western (US).
      Apr 22
  • Facebook wildgoose
    You won’t save 500k in 3 years. Period.

    Go work for a company with offices in other countries. Like FAANG. They can transfer you to other offices if your visa doesn’t play out and then bring you back on L1 or similar.

    And relax. Lots of people are in similar situations.
    Apr 21 0
  • Microsoft rfrw82
    Just to add to everyone else, companies dont just sponsor EB1 because you are a good performer. There are specific criteria for qualifying for EB1.
    Apr 21 0
  • Find a good American wife.
    Apr 21 7
    • Salesforce / Eng
      LMTS-1

      Salesforce Eng

      PRE
      Tata Consultancy Services
      BIO
      Lead software engineer at Salesforce
      LMTS-1more
      This is best advice...😀
      Apr 21
    • Microsoft FromMars
      You know engineers are not popular amongst girls in US college, right? It is the bottom most pack, and yes below sociology and English majors you want to look down on with future income looks less than half of engineers salary.
      Apr 22
    • Not true. I always attracted the hottest girls because they knew I’ll be making good money. Now if you are a weirdo it’s a different story.
      Apr 22
    • Microsoft FromMars
      Did you study undergrad study in US? Or are you saying as an Indian studying in masters, many other Indians asked for date?

      Yeah I don’t believe you lol but let’s say you had great dates while studying in undergrad program in US. Are you norm? If you are that far from reality, I am not sure if you even know about the college life in America let alone studying. This is common sense every Americans acknowledge.
      Apr 22
    • First off I am not Indian why Indian is the first assumption. I am deleing this app
      Apr 22
  • Amazon DaReelReal
    Thank you for coming here legally!
    Apr 21 2
    • New / Eng SuperSlime
      Dude i see you on every post with the same statement....just send your money to the gofundme already
      Apr 21
    • Amazon DaReelReal
      There will be more to come, keep looking out
      Apr 22
  • You’ll do just fine make sure to study well and LC time to time ;) you’ll land a great job and company will take care of the paperwork. “Worst thing” you may spend a year in Canada, but that is unlikely. Canada is a beautiful and wonderful place too btw. Good luck to you and you’ll do very well I’m sure :)
    Jul 30 0
  • Microsoft weirvhtd
    I can just say one thing.
    If you are taking a loan for 80k usd, it's too much risk to come to usa.. if your parents are rich, enjoy the ride
    Apr 21 0

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