A Guide to the H-1B Visa: The Top Companies for Sponsorship

What is the H-1B visa, what companies sponsor employees for it, and how can international students get it? All of these questions are answered and more in this guide.

August 19, 2022

As an international student or foreign worker in the US, getting a job is not as easy as applying and being hired. To legally be allowed to work, you have to obtain a visa. One of the most common visas is the H-1B, which is for nonimmigrant aliens who work in specialty occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree.

Many of the major companies sponsor these visas, but some are better than others, while smaller companies often don’t have the resources, time, or ability to sponsor foreign workers. Even if they’re willing to commit to the required time and money, at the end of the day, it’s a lottery. With that being said, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of some of the top companies that sponsor H-1B visas as you begin to think about your post-graduate career.

This list will get you started, but if you prefer one-on-one, personalized career or graduate school guidance, browse our world-class, vetted coaches here. Some of our coaches are international themselves and understand the difficulty of securing a long-term, non-resident visa status.

What is the H-1B Visa?

The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa for educated international professionals that allows them to work in the United States in “specialty occupations.” After students on the F1 visa complete their optional practical training (OPT), the length of which depends on if their degree is in a STEM field, they will typically need to get this visa to continue working in the US. The initial visa usually lasts for three years but can be extended to six years.

Since the visa’s inception, there has been an annual cap on the number of these visas available. It is currently at 65,000 with 20,000 additional visas for foreign workers who graduate with a master’s or doctorate degree. Employers register and pay $10 for every international worker they want to sponsor. If the immigration council receives more registrations than there are visas available, it will run a lottery and the winners of that will be allowed to formally submit a petition for the visa. This happens often so while foreign workers can set themselves up for success, at the end of the day there is quite a bit of luck involved in the process.

2024 H1-B Lottery

The registration process for the next round of H-1B visas will open in the spring of 2023. For 2023, it opened on March 1, 2022. The lottery winners will be announced around April 1, 2023, at which point employers will have 90 days to submit the full petition.

Tips for International Students

1. Make the most of your OPT year

After graduation, students who were on the F1 visa are given a set amount of time to work in the field of their degree without a visa. It typically lasts for 12 months however those who graduate in a STEM field are able to extend their OPT for an additional 24 months. This time can be used to network, build a reputation for good work, and establish connections with those responsible for sponsorship in the company.

2. Cultivate in-demand skills

International workers are hired because they have a skill that is needed by the company. So, international students can give themselves a better chance of being hired and sponsored by learning these skills. According to Indeed, some of the most in-demand skills in the workforce right now are cloud computing, artificial intelligence, sales leadership, data analysis, translation, mobile app development, people management, video and audio production, and UX design.

3. Polish your LinkedIn

Many recruiters nowadays will look for potential employees on LinkedIn and reach out if they think it’s a good fit. To stand out to these recruiters, make sure your LinkedIn is great. Highlight your skills and experiences, use a professional photo, and engage with others.

The 10 Top H-1B Employers

Now, here are the top 20 companies that sponsor H1-B visas.

1. Amazon

Amazon is well-known for sponsoring many international students for full-time jobs. In 2021, there were 10,817 visas certified, 16 denied, and 42 withdrawn. The average salary for those with an H-1B visa was $125,931.

Top H-1B Job Functions:

  • Engineering
    • Software Development Engineer
    • Business Intelligence Engineer
    • Software Development
  • Product
  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Design

H-1B FB Job Locations:

  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Bellevue, WA

2. Google

In 2021, the average salary of someone with an H-1B visa made $156,740. There were 9022 visas certified, 12 denied, and 126 withdrawn.

Top H-1B Jobs:

  • Software Engineer
  • Program Manager
  • Solutions Consultant
  • Technical Solutions Consultant
  • Quantitative Analyst

H-1B FB Job Locations:

  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA
  • Mountain View, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Sunnyvale, CA

3. Microsoft

Microsoft is another big tech company with lots of resources and employees. They sponsor international students, especially for technical roles, with fairly high compensation. The average annual salary of those with an H-1B visa at Microsoft in 2021 was $146,569. There were a total of 7,329 visas certified, none were denied or withdrawn.

Top H-1B Jobs:

  • Software Engineer
  • Data and Applied Scientist
  • Program Manager
  • Senior Program Manager
  • Senior Software Engineer

H-1B Job Locations

  • Bellevue, WA
  • Redmond, WA
  • Issaquah, WA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Sunnyvale, CA

4. Apple

Apple is among the companies that have historically sponsored the most H-1B visas. As of 2021, the average salary for those sponsored was $168,416. There were 4,155 visas certified, zero denied, and 65 withdrawn.

Top H-1B Jobs:

  • Software Development Engineer
  • ASIC Design Engineer
  • Engineering Project Manager
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Hardware Development Engineer

H-1B FB Job Locations:

  • Seattle, WA
  • Austin, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • Cupertino, CA
  • Sunnyvale, CA

5. Ernst & Young (EY)

The best company in the finance industry for international students is Ernst & Young, a global accounting firm. As of 2021, the average salary for those with this visa was $118,504. There were 5,794 visas certified, 8 denied, and 0 withdrawn.

Top H-1B Jobs:

  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Accountants and Auditors
  • Information Security Analysts
  • Financial Analysts
  • Operations Research Analysts

H-1B FB Job Locations:

  • Dallas, TX
  • Chicago, IL
  • New York, NY
  • Hoboken, NJ
  • San Francisco, CA

6. Cognizant

On its website, Cognizant says that it, “may or may not provide sponsorship and if available, those who qualify may be able to secure an H1-B Visa from Cognizant.” As of 2021, the average salary for those with this visa was $92,766 with 12,463 certified, none denied, and 176 withdrawn.

Top H1-B Jobs:

  • Senior Systems Analyst
  • System Analyst
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Management Analyst
  • Senior Manager

H1-B FB Job Locations:

  • Plano, TX
  • Irving, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Hartford, CT

7. Bloomberg

Another finance company, Bloomberg is headquartered on the east coast in New York, NY. It is an international conglomerate with many subsidiary companies. As of 2021, the average salary for H-1B jobs was $196,375 with 444 certified and 7 withdrawn.

Top H1-B Jobs:

  • Principal Software Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Team Leader
  • Senior Software Developer
  • Quantitative Analyst

H1-B FB Job Locations:

  • New York, NY
  • Washington, DC
  • Dayton, NJ
  • Princeton, NJ
  • San Francisco, CA

8. Intel Corporation

Intel is primarily known for manufacturing semiconductors and other electronic components. It is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. As of 2021, the average salary for H-1B jobs was $127,627. There were 3364 visas certified, zero denied, and three withdrawn.

Top H1-B Jobs:

  • Component Design Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Product Engineer
  • Graphics Hardware Engineer

H1-B FB Job Locations:

  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Folsom, CA
  • Austin, TX
  • Chandler, AZ
  • Hillsboro, OR

9. Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems is an IT and networking company and it develops and manufactures hardware and software. In 2021, there were 2003 H-1B visas certified, one denied, and nine withdrawn. The average salary was $145,561 for those on this visa.

Top H1-B Jobs:

  • Software Engineer
  • Technical Leader
  • Product Manager
  • Technical Consulting Engineer
  • Consulting Engineer

H1-B FB Job Locations:

  • Research Triangle Park, NC
  • Richardson, TX
  • Austin, TX
  • San Jose, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

10. Meta/Facebook

Despite coming under some heat in relation to H1-B visas in 2020, Facebook continues to hire many international students. As of 2021, the average salary for those with this visa was $175,750. There were 5,559 certified filings, 11 denied, and 136 withdrawn.

Top H1-B Jobs:

  • Software Engineer
  • Research Scientist
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Product Manager

H1-B FB Job Locations:

  • Menlo Park, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • New York, NY
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Redmond, WA

Here are several other companies that also sponsor H-1B visas:

  • IBM
  • Accenture
  • Walmart
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Salesforce
  • Blackrock
  • Infosys
  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • HCL America
  • Deloitte

Where Can I Start?

Applying to jobs can be a daunting experience, but Leland is here to help at every step of the way. For personalized support and guidance as you polish your resumes and cover letters and do interviews, work with one of our world-class, vetted coaches. Browse them all here.

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