Resources for US-based Immigrant Ph.D.s

May 16, 2023

In this week’s issue, I want to provide some resources for immigrant PhDs in the US.

I was an international student and understand the complexities associated with being far from home, learning about a new culture, navigating immigration, and finding a job with many restrictions (especially right now in a downturned economy).

Interestingly, over 40% of PhDs in the US are international students (over 50% in some STEM fields). Additionally, the percentage of foreign-born workers is increasing each year for advanced degrees, as you can see below:


So, while my newsletter is intended to be for all PhDs, I couldn’t help but notice the proportion of international PhDs (in the US) as well as the extra sets of challenges faced by immigrants to secure a job - so this week’s edition to dedicated to the immigrant PhDs community!

Let’s dive in:

As you explore a post-PhD plan as an international student or professional, I would suggest “Don’t pet cat the wrong way”, or in other words:

Find roles in companies that have a track record (or explicitly state they're willing to) support and sponsor visas and are immigrant friendly before embarking on a job search.

Fighting the system, although noble, is not where you want to invest your energies while you already are trying to swim against the current.

By targeting companies that are friendly to immigrants, you will save a lot of headaches and heartache later.

One of the ways to explore this is by reviewing the H-1B record of companies. For those unfamiliar, the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

Here are 3 resources to find visa-friendly companies and roles based on H1-B data, which you can use to explore:

1. Salary Insights


You can go to and explore H1B base salary insights:


2. H1-B Sponsorship Track Record


You can see recent records if a company has filed H-1B by installing the "Ultimate H1B Sponsor Checker" Chrome extension. After the extension is installed, it’ll let you explore LinkedIn and other job sites and will provide a green/red pill with companies recent track record of H-1B sponsorship.

Credit: “Ultimate H1B Sponsor Checker” Chrome Extension

3. Total H1B Visa Sponsorship Record


You can find H1B visa reports (by year) at The top 100 Visa Sponsors of 2023, as an example, are below:  


But wait… what if I DO want to pet a cat the wrong way?


Ok, so, there is a company that doesn’t provide sponsorship but you absolutely love and still would like to pursue it?

There could still be a way… (but try with your own discretion/risk!)


Credit: Varun Negandhi. Find him on Linkedin here 

Good luck!


That’s all for this week! See you next week.


P.S. I’m offering 1:1 coaching/resume review sessions. If you’re interested you can book here:

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