Best Strategy applying for jobs in another country

Background: I am a Canadian with some good experience, CFA Charterholder, about to finish a Masters of Finance.

What is the best way to apply for a job in London or the US? Is the only good option to go through a recruiter?

Everytime I get through an online job application and at the end it says "Are you legally able to work in the US?" or something along those lines, I have to check no because I don't have a working Visa and then I die a little on the inside

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Comments (36)

Mar 22, 2013 - 1:28pm

In my experience, for US firms, only applying online's not enough, you need to use your network & university career services (if u get US postings there). For UK firms, you can apply online, but I dunno what responses you'll get without a european university / work experience on ur resume.

Mar 22, 2013 - 1:55pm

The work visa is huge. Even international students in the US struggle to find jobs. Unless you have a really unique skill set, I don't see why employers should jump through hoops to bring you in the country while there are tons of able bodies right here. Maybe you can apply to US banks in Canada and then ask for an internal transfer after a couple years?

Mar 22, 2013 - 2:03pm

Click yes, and then bring up that you're international later. If they ask "Why didn't you say you were international on the online app?" (which I don't think they will - they rarely go back to check stuff), then say you made a mistake.

Disclaimer: I've never actually had to do this.

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Mar 22, 2013 - 4:17pm

a) "In submitting my application, I declare that all of the information given herein is complete and true to the best of my knowledge and belief."

b) That just makes you sound like a fucking moron who doesn't know how to fill out a form.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:29pm

a) "In submitting my application, I declare that all of the information given herein is complete and true to the best of my knowledge and belief."

b) That just makes you sound like a fucking moron who doesn't know how to fill out a form.

Sure. But with your method, one has no shot. With my method, you have at least the slightest chance.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:30pm

Getting a job abroad (Originally Posted: 10/15/2009)

Hi guys,

I'm a foreign student from Poland and my goal is to get into IB or any related field in US/UK.

Now there is a question. How to do it?

I'm a good student here. I've completed bachelor studies majoring in international business and finance. Now I'm studying at master degree investment strategies. Additionally I'm studying statistical analysis and data mining.

To get similar job in Poland you have to get offical license from goverment body but the market is tight and salary isn't competitive.

What steps should I take to get this job abroad? I'm thinking about CFA, maybe Phd, need experience..

I would appreciate any insights.


Mar 22, 2013 - 9:35pm

Employment Overseas (Originally Posted: 11/22/2010)

Does anyone have any insight into the best way to find a job in cities such as Paris or Rome?

I'm a senior sales guy here in NYC and will be getting my Italian citizenship soon which will allow me to work in Europe. I've always wanted to live in Paris so I figured why not give it a go, y'know?

Any insight, advice or nonsense is appreciated.

Best Response
Mar 22, 2013 - 9:38pm

Overseas Employment Questions (Originally Posted: 08/10/2007)

This is for those of you who have knowledge of the UK employment system:

I have the possibility through some connections to work in PE in London after I do my two years as an analyst here in the US. I'm curious as to the rules regarding work VISAs overseas.

1) Is there a limit to the number of years you can work in a foreign country before your VISA expires and is unable to be renewed?

2) Are you obligated to pay taxes to your home country as well as to the country in which you are employed?

3) If you are married is your wife granted the right to work (or at least live?) in the country you are employed in for the duration of your stay?

I know the questions are pretty random but I would appreciate help if anyone has any insight. Drilling through information online was wildly unsuccessful!



  • 4
Mar 22, 2013 - 9:39pm

If you are a U.S. citizen, you still have to pay income tax and for UK too. Your first $80,000 isn't taxed. Do a google search to learn more about the system. It isn't hard to figure it out.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:40pm

Countries always have exceptions to normal VISA rules for those applicants that bring something special to the table (ie PhDs, atheltic talents, special finance skills). I believe PE firms usually hire someone with loads of connections to do the paperwork and guide it through the application process so their people gain this special VISA status if necessary.

As far as taxes, you will probably have to pay British taxes (which are higher than those in the US) and I think you can then deduct that from your US tax bill (the $80k exemption applies in the US also). So you won't be subject to a full double taxation at least.

I've got a friend who works PE in London for an American based firm. He says they get around UK taxes by claiming he is based in NY but doing projects there or some other BS.

PE is all about tax loopholes. As has been pointed out in this carried interest debate, most partners in PE firms pay lower tax rates then their housekeepers.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:41pm

Hey Compbanker,
I'm transferring to London from Boston, so I'm going through the process you are describing right now.

1) No, at least not in the United Kingdom. If you work for one of the good PE funds located in London (Bain, KKR, Blackstone, Summit, 3i, etc) they will hire an immigration law firm that will help you out.

2) I can't answer this question. The fund I work for is paying me a NET salary (meaning that they pay all my taxes on my behalf). I'm obligated to open an account in the Isle of Man, and there's where I'm being paid. Also, they have hired KPMG to do my taxes for me. If anyone else works in the UK: has anyone heard of this? Obviously this is great for me since I guess I'm circumventing a lot of taxes this way

3) If you get a Work Permit (processed by employer on your behalf) and you get an Entrance Clearance Visa (usually not required for US citizens), then your spouse can also apply for a work permit. Your immigration lawyers will help you.

The UK is much more friendly relative to the US in regards to working in the country. All you need is a good law firm on your side that has direct contact with immigration case workers. They will do everything for you, that's what happened in my case.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:42pm

Thanks so much for the insight guys. VCmonkey, that is incredibly great news. I definitely wouldn't want to get caught up trying to deal with endless tax and immigration policies if I could avoid it.


Mar 22, 2013 - 9:43pm

Advice for applying from abroad? (Originally Posted: 09/09/2013)

I've been in Beijing for the last four years and looking to find a job back in the States in accounting or finance.

First batch of applications is going to top 10 audit firms in several major cities (flexible but prefer Boston, San Fran, LA, NY). I'm afraid I will be looked over in my online applications to the flood of campus recruitment and locals (why take a chance on me in Beijing when you have 10 people right in Boston?).

Any suggestions on how to overcome the concerns of a recruiter? Does cold calling/emailing work for large audit firms?

Looking for 1st year audit associate position. Undergrad is from State school and master's from a top Chinese university (I meet the CPA 150 credit requirement). Just graduated in June and working for a law firm currently.

Long time lurker, so any insight would be appreciated!

Edit - On applications I generally put my parent's address (Midwest) as my permanent address.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:44pm

Don't go the HR route. Approach people directly via linkedin. This worked best for me. Most recruiters don't give a damn about international applicants or are simply unable to understand your education or background, when it doesn't exactly resemble that of an applicant from within the US. At least that's my personal experience.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:45pm

Stick to managers on down or focus on senior associates (2-5 years exp)? Would partners at Big 4 be off limits for now?

Suggestions to the rejection of "just apply on our website"? Career fair at my undergrad had a table for one Big 4 that wasn't even taking resumes, just telling students to apply online (although specifically school's career portal).

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:46pm

So I started off with the LinkedIn route and I did receive a response and at least a few people looking at my profile, which is a start. However, I received the neutral/rejection response "all our positions are posted on our website...let me know if you have any questions."

Even for a larger firm should I just hope for the best and reply with a "Thank you for ---- let's stay in touch" or keep pushing? I know the recruitment can be pretty independent for each office, so I'm approaching it in this sense by going for recruiters and managers.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:47pm

Recruiting in Europe while studying abroad in the US/CAN (Originally Posted: 12/08/2011)


how do I manage to recruit with banks in Europe (Frankfurt, London) while I'm on the West Coast for my study abroad? I will depart to the US in September 2012 and will return in May 2013. Unfortunately, I want to start my internship in September 2013.

Do I even have a chance to get an internship since I'm not in Europe for recruiting/interviewing? I mean, they probably won't fly me in to an assessement center in Europe from the West Coast, so how do I proceed?

Is it possible to apply for an internship starting in September 2013 in Spring 2012?!

Thanks everyone

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:48pm

Start recruiting after your return in 2013. You'll still have 4 months before the internship starts. Just make sure beforehand that you talk to the right people at the banks - you can find that out by talking to your career center, they usually have the addresses of the persons in charge.

If you have a solid background I think your odds are not bad. Most banks have loads of interns over the summer but, as everybody goes back to school in fall, interns are rare in fall. And banks always need interns. Good luck!

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:49pm

Thanks! I hope you're right and 4 months are enough time.
Perhaps I could submit my application several weeks before returning to Europe and thereby gain a few additional weeks of recruiting.. Hope it works.. ;)

Is there anyone that did recruit with banks while he was studying abroad?

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:50pm

I'm studying abroad in Europe (but Im from Europe) and I applied to various firms (AM, IB boutique, Big 4) for when I return to my home country. I managed to get 3 interviews which will all take place in one week after myI return (around Christmas). So it is definitely possible.

Make sure to explain your situation, give them your new number infinite times (you don't want to know how often they phone me on my home countries number which I'm not using).

Good luck!

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:51pm

Going with what previous poster said. Talk to them over the phone, establish a personal connection. Way better than using email.

PS: a former colleague of mine scored is Analyst gig with a local firm in Frankfurt 1 month before starting. So its def. possible to quickly find something (if your stats are good). At my firm, we recruit interns 3-4 months before they start. I was recruited for my SA 1,5 months before it started.

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:52pm

Working Overseas (Originally Posted: 05/12/2012)

How can I network or pursue FT or SA opportunities overseas? I am from a semi-target school in NYC but only speak english.

Is this even possible?

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:54pm

To get started abroad you typically need a connection who could get you close to an FT or SA opportunity. London would be an option for you, as they're a major financial player and they speak English. Unless you're moving or going overseas for an extended period of time, why not try starting domestically.

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Mar 22, 2013 - 9:55pm

Applying to international offices (Originally Posted: 02/19/2012)

I graduated from college last year, and have spent the past year in China working in education and figuring my life out. I intend to continue my work here for one more year, and apply for consulting positions in the fall. My question is how much more difficult is it to get interviews for international offices where one might not have any obvious link? I have taken a liking to Asia (have lived here 1.5 years total), but I don't speak any Asian languages (I do study Mandarin out of interest and necessity but certainly not enough for any working level). That being said, I have seen on these forums that occasionally people in a similar position have applied for and been accepted to such offices. So I was wondering whether anyone has insights into the feasibility of sending in applications to Singapore, HK, Bangkok, etc., offices, or whether this would totally be a waste of time. Thanks!

Mar 22, 2013 - 9:56pm

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