Want to Work in USA? Learn How?

March 11th, 2015 | Posted by Vidya Vrat in Career Advice

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Abstract

Today’s IT industry is all about foreign clients, anyways you are dealing with them now and then, but working in their own land with them is a different experience altogether.  This article will help you learn about working in USA and many other related things.

Note- Please don’t write any comment or ask me for any Visa Sponsoring, how much money you can make particularly and what you can do to fly to USA etc.

Ways to Enter USA

There are various ways to enter USA, but as a “work” professional following are visa types which allow you to enter USA and either live for some time or live for long term and earn in US$.

Visa Type Who Sponsors It How Long Can you Stay Validity for Years Transferable to other employer
B1 Employer 6-12 months in one visit 10 years No
L1A Employer 7 years 7 Years No
L1B Employer 5 Years 5 Years No
H1B Employer or Self as an individual 6 years 6 years Yes

H1B visa allows you to change your employers once you are in USA, so if you don’t like CompanyA then you can transfer your H1B staus to CompanyB and continue to live and earn in USA.

L1 Visa holders can’t do this as L1 is intracompany transfer visa, means an India office of CompanyA is sending you to its US office for work.

B1 visa holders are usually those who travel for KT (Knowledge Transfers), conferences and client meetings etc.

What skills are required?

Well, my core skill are has always been Microsoft so I can share those with you, but skills can be easily discovered via some job site portals.

Technical skills – .NET, C#, MVC, SOA, Algorithmic/analytical thinking, strong coding, best practices, SQL BI, TFS, debugging and analysis, SQL Server, Architectural Principles.

Soft Skills – Good communication, listening skills, ability to present your ideas on whiteboard, team player, ability to collaborate with others within and outside team.

Cultural skills – Ability to bear culture shock, ability to communicate with local people and understand their accent and way of living, accept that you are far-far from your home land, ability to live alone for months with no one to talk (at-least until you make some friends).

Show me the money; honey

This is something everyone might be interested in; but salary range varies from job profile, experience and skills you have. Salary is also driven by nature of your company and your Visa type, for example,

  • B1/B2 visa travelers are paid approx. US$ 40-100 per day + Home Country Salary as is.
  • L1 visa travelers are paid in the range of $55K – 75K per year + No India Salary at all.
  • H1B visa holders are paid more than L1 and ranges from $55K – $140K per year or even more + No India Salary at all.

Expanses and Deductions from Salary

USA is an expansive country and you pay for everything and it’s pretty expansive. Let’s see some basic deductions and expanses per month

Expanse Type US$ Per Month
House Rent $700 – 1500 (Based on 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and location)
Water + Garbage $75 – $110
Electricity $50 – $115 (bill is on higher side in winters)
Phone $50 – $120 (higher side is for two lines unlimited calling with in USA)
Internet $29 – $80 (based on speed you want)
Grocery $ 250 – $2000 (based on number of family members, their age [especially if you have kids then you have more expanses] & your life style)
Car $50 – $500 (depending upon your travel pattern and type of vehicle you own)

 

Deductions from your Salary per month. Amount will be based on your Salary
Federal Income Tax (in general it’s Income Tax, In USA you can’t show investments etc. to have some rebate. Like India has limit for 1.5 Lakh.)
Social Security Tax (tax deducted by government to pay people how have retired)
Health Insurance Premium – Optional (it is usually offered at discounted rate by employers)
Dental Insurance – Optional (it is usually offered at discounted rate by employers)
Vison Insurance – Optional (it is usually offered at discounted rate by employers)
State Tax (some states like New Jersey, New York and many others have extra deductions as State Tax)
401K – Optional (Like PF in India)

In USA medical is very expansive, a Dr’s visit can cost anywhere between $100 – 100,000. So it’s better to analyze your and your family’s health trend and take necessary insurance plans. Health and Dental are a must according to me.

How to apply for work permit (Visa) for USA

Well, easiest way is that your current employer send you on a project. But that is not the case in many scenarios and with some employers. Then you can file your H1B by yourself. H1B is lottery based and every year in April 65000 H1B visa are granted to selected professionals.

If you want to apply yourself then find a company (search on job sites there are many) who can file H1B for you. They will charge you approx. $5K – $6K to submit your H1B application. As H1B is totally lottery based so your application may or many note be picked in lottery. If your application is not picked then some employer may return some of the money and they may or may not return your money. So consider it a GAMBLE.

Do I have Job Assurance?

Well, even if you have got visa and travelled to USA; many times there might not be a job for you and that may last for months. I know some candidates who are on their own and have no job. Besides, to live in USA you need medical insurance etc. which is very expansive and other expanses you have for your living, food etc.

Work Life Balance

US work culture is officially 40Hrs a week, so in your timesheet you fill 8hrs per day. If you have a decent manager then you have a good life as many of them are. People here have a culture to work from home (not always unless you are a remote worker officially) on instance based scenarios, respect of family and personal needs, kids school meetings etc.

But all these freedom comes with great responsibility; and people are not supposed to abuse that. If you do so then you will be restricted and you may have to take holiday to fulfill your family or personal commitment.

What if I am not able to go to USA

Personally, I came to USA at very late stage of my career. So work on your skills, client relations, and many other things and be happy. Everyone has a different path to follow and destiny chooses people time to time. So don’t be disappointed that you are not selected, or couldn’t got to USA etc. Rather think what you can do to go to USA.

Save money, make some sacrifices, don’t buy expansive mobile phone, don’t eat outside, and don’t buy extra clothes, shoes, accessories and save money to apply your H1B next year.

Also, keep looking the pattern your company has, do they have client in USA, do people travel to USA from your company etc.

What happens when I return from USA to my home country

Well, in terms of your job and career; this certainly has a boost. I have experienced that personally. Besides that your way to seeing things and applying skills will change a bit.

Besides, many companies prefer candidates who has travelled and lived outside as this allows them to present themselves better to a potential client and showcase skills their team has in general.

 

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