“While we were impressed by your qualifications and experience, after careful consideration we're sorry to inform you that you have not been selected in the further recruitment process.”
The above is the starting point of every successful job search, unless, of course, you are a freshly graduated international student; then, you get accustomed to it pretty fast. Sometimes, you even pass the screening, you get the interview with the talent manager and then, on your answer regarding the type of work authorization you posses, you just see that microexpression on the interviewer’s face and you know the deal - the rest of the interview will become your desperate scream of hope trying to show that you are somebody worth investing in. A few days later, you face the inevitable: the email with the familiar message.
The race of getting a job after college between domestic and international students in the US could almost be portrayed as a 100-meter dash. Why almost? Almost because, the event host (a.k.a. US Government) has its favorites and shows it by adding a few extra hurdles in the foreigner’s lane. With that move the organizer is killing two birds with one stone; making it more difficult for the international, while satisfying the peanut gallery with some extra entertainment. Why then, when the foreigner proves his worthiness and wins the race, are so many obstacles for the prospective employer to hire that person?
Not all students get the opportunity to study in the US. Some of them attend prestigious institutions around the globe, others are self-taught. What if firms, like Fueled for example, find a developer who has the potential to take the whole company to the next level? Certainly, the firm wouldn’t mind spending money on this recruit, but unfortunately all you can do is to submit an application and pray. Pray for a stroke of luck needed to fall into one third of the applications that get approved since that super talented developer is in the same pool as an inexperienced freshly graduated international student. The core of the problem is that many firms decide to stay away from the whole process since there is 67% of possibility that they have just wasted their time and money. The obsolescence of the whole process could be seen through the example of one financial institution that submitted an application for a new CEO and a new analyst. The outcome was quite a surprise: a new analyst got his H1B, but the CEO didn’t.
Politicians from the Capitol Hill are criticizing companies for moving their headquarters and production facilities abroad, but except the great demagoguery speeches during the election season, nobody moves a finger to change the status quo.
Could Canada be the solution? Fueled already has an office in London, but due to emerging business, we are strongly considering to open another one in Canada. Canada has a much more open immigration policy and it would give us a better opportunity to acquire the best talent. At the end, the US economy is the one losing in every possible dimension, from federal, state and city taxes to the local bagel shops where a potential employees would buy their breakfast.
The US was not built on some one-thousand-year society or incredible cultural legacy. The US became the most powerful country in the history of civilization for making itself an attractive destination for all scientists and entrepreneurs around the world by providing resources unmatchable by any other place. How would the world look like if Albert Einstein decided to accept the offer to move to Oxford instead of Princeton University or if Nikola Tesla thought that he could use his alternative current technology based generators on Plitvice Lakes that could, at the best, only power his village? The US provided resources needed for the greatest inventions in modern human society, but in today’s globalized world developments were not made just at the Universities and Medical Centers. Right now, every place from giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft or Facebook up to a three-person design shop in the middle of Nebraska is some kind of a laboratory where the future is created.
To keep moving forward the US needs to reconsider its immigration laws or face the inevitable truth of becoming overshadowed by some new technological superpower. It might not happen in a decade or two, but it is definitely a huge threat in the foreseeable future. This is not an act of desperation; this is a call for action, while there is still time to make a change.