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Contractor as stepping stone to H1B visa?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Taro Community23 days ago

I work in Europe but would love to move to the US and work there. I'm employed, but was thinking if becoming a contractor in the US could be a first step towards an H1B visa? I've received recommendations of joining a company in Europe with a large presence in the US, but there are not alot of these companies in my country. And the competition of the few open positions that exist at these American companies here are very high. Since I have a ok network, I don't think it should be a to hard to get a position at an american company. Is it realistic to turn my contractor position into an employement at the company though? Or is it a suboptimal route? What do you all think?



  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    22 days ago

    I'm not super familiar with the US immigration process as I was born here, but I don't think I've really seen companies do visa sponsorship for contractors. Or is your plan more like this:

    1. Get a contracting role in Europe at a company based in the US
    2. Do well at the contracting role and push for a full-time role in the US
    3. The company sponsors you as you did well as a contractor

    Regardless, I don't think this is a great path as contractors generally have a hard-time converting to FTE. Contractors are usually given the less impactful work - That was the case at pretty much every company I have ever worked for. More details on that here:

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    19 days ago

    With the contractor role in the US, you'd actually move to the US, right? Which city?

    If you're able to go to a major tech hub like San Francisco, Seattle, or New York, this is a great plan! People trust others who they can physically see and touch, so if you're diligent about networking and meeting companies while you're in the US, you can likely get some interesting opportunities that would sponsor a visa.

    Going within the company from contractor to H1B might be difficult, but you can use your physical location as a huge advantage in the search for a new job.