US job opportunities for foreigners

Italianbanker's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hi guys,

I work in an Italian Asset Management/private equity firm of real estate investment funds (european version of REITS).
I have 3+ years of experience (think of an associate level) in the financial analysis and business development, and I would like to know about the opportunities for foreigners in the US, especially in LA, SF and NY.

I know that is not easy to obtain a Visa, but what I would like to understand is if there are opportunities for foreigners or the job openings are "reserved" to US citizens.

I know that most of the WSO users are american, so I think that you can give me an idea about the chances of getting a job overseas..

Thank you!

Comments (72)

Aug 9, 2012

I'm not sure if this is a part of your question, but the Visa depends highly on your personal qualifications. The more special (degree, work, industry, etc.), the easier. Having an advanced degree (from master's and up) will move you into another immigration bracket that makes it easier for you to get entry. You can find all the info on the web.

The business of business is business.

Aug 9, 2012
Cowfoot:

I'm not sure if this is a part of your question, but the Visa depends highly on your personal qualifications. The more special (degree, work, industry, etc.), the easier. Having an advanced degree (from master's and up) will move you into another immigration bracket that makes it easier for you to get entry. You can find all the info on the web.

All of these Mexicans must be phd students.

    • 2
    • 2
Aug 9, 2012

It all depends on the firms that you are applying for. I am on H1B Visa and got another offer from a peer company recently. But eventually I didn't get into the job because their HR won't approve on sponsoring visas.
I think, generally real estate firms mostly hire american people since it is a local industry. But I do have friends who has done Visa transferring between real estate firms. These firms are basically small firms like less than 30 people. Small firms don't have strict HR policy per sey, and usually follow the decision makers' instruction.

If you think it's somewhere worth your efforts to try, then do it. Focus on smaller firms, and get a greencard with that company. After you earned a greencard, you can work for any size of company as you can.

Aug 9, 2012

Thanks for your answers, I have an italian master's degree in quant finance. I will try to apply for positions in local RE boutique. but I think that there will be no competition with american people, unless they're looking for somebody italian speaker or with a specific experience in the euro market..

Aug 10, 2012

If you have a master's degree in quant finance, why not go for a quant position with a financial service firm. real estate is really a different area that may not require knowledge in quant finance, unless real estate is somewhere you identify as your career.

Sep 6, 2013

Look out for jobs in online job portals or contact visa agencies. They can guide you well on this

Sep 6, 2013

The multinational banks don't give a damn what country you're from. There are tons of foreigners working in NY, and tons of Americans employed by BB's abroad. Not a problem.

Sep 6, 2013

Not speaking from first hand experience but this is consistent with what I was told/heard/read.

Multinational companies in general tend to be very openminded about employing people from various backgrounds.

Sep 6, 2013

sti have you got an offer from GS Australia?

Sep 6, 2013

Yep.

Thanks for the info guys.

Sep 6, 2013

i've always wondered if prop shops in asia/europe hire english speaking people

there are expats at ibanks everywhere

but at a trading firm, you've got to speak the language at the shop fluently, because you have to yell at each other (as far as i'm aware)

Sep 6, 2013

Perhaps not, seeing as many BBs have lately been unwilling or unable to sponsor. I know people talked here the other week about boutiques in the UK not sponsoring US employees, and I imagine it may be the same here for foreigners.

Sep 6, 2013

At least in the UK I know that's a no go.

Sep 6, 2013
rebelcross:

At least in the UK I know that's a no go.

I know for a fact that Evercore, Moelis and Greenhill are sponsoring in UK.

Sep 6, 2013

In the U.K. most boutiques aren't sponsoring visas.

Sep 6, 2013

does that mean Jefferies are interviewing me for a laugh then? (for SA, and I'm chinese in london)

Sep 6, 2013

Do they know your work auth?

Sep 6, 2013

Just apply for a NI number. You usually don't need support to get one.

Sep 6, 2013
Walkio:

Just apply for a NI number. You usually don't need support to get one.

What? A National insurance number does not guarantee you a work permit.

Sep 6, 2013

i know that Moelis nyc recruits heavily from ivey in canada

Sep 6, 2013

In the US, you generally want to steer clear of firms that don't sponsor foreign nationals because it's usually an indicator of quality. All the top firms and boutiques do it. In fact, the only bank/boutique that recruited on campus this year and does not sponsor is Wells Fargo (and nobody wanted to really work there anyway). Even the MM firms like HL, William Blair, Robert Baird and Jefferies sponsor internationals.

Sep 6, 2013
tdave:

In the US, you generally want to steer clear of firms that don't sponsor foreign nationals because it's usually an indicator of quality. All the top firms and boutiques do it. In fact, the only bank/boutique that recruited on campus this year and does not sponsor is Wells Fargo (and nobody wanted to really work there anyway). Even the MM firms like HL, William Blair, Robert Baird and Jefferies sponsor internationals.

I'm assuming these international students study at US Colleges?

Sep 6, 2013

I know for a fact that Greenhill, Lazard, Moelis, Evercore, and Jefferies take internationals. Don't know about smaller MMs though. They probably will, especially a firm like Gleacher (I'm not sure if we can categorize that firm as 'smaller MM' but whatever) which has a fairly reputable presence in the investment banking industry.

Sep 6, 2013

Walkio,

I don't think it matters. If companies take internationals, it won't matter if they attend US colleges or international colleges. Obviously recruiting wise internationals at US colleges will have an advantage, but I think the process for getting permits for internationals is the same no matter where they attend school.

Sep 6, 2013

Also fyi, at least at my school the BBs only sponsored for front office positions.

Sep 6, 2013

That's a good point. BO or MO roles don't get sponsorship in the US even at BBs.

Sep 6, 2013

any changes/trends in Visa sponsorship at boutiques last year 2012? I am on F1 Visa now and I am actually interested in boutiques too. Thanks!

Sep 6, 2013

I know a guy from my school in Europe who got a sponsorship from PWP to work in their NYC office post MBA.

Sep 6, 2013

With boutiques, ring up the banks and ask. Strangely enough, I found one small boutique in the Midwest willing to sponsor Visa.

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

Sep 6, 2013

Boutiques will sponsor, if they really like you. I know a guy (foreign citizen) who works at a 10-man boutique. He was the first foreign student the boutique has ever sponsored.
The recruiting process in a boutique is usually very informal, hence more flexible. So if you do a good job (has to be extremely good though), I'm sure they will go through the hassle to sponsor you.

Sep 6, 2013

The way you used foreigner I thought you were going to say you were from Africa or somewhere of the like

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Sep 6, 2013

Trust me, the American dream is dead, but being a citizen here doesn't help bring it back to life...

Sep 6, 2013
BlackHat:

Trust me, the American dream is dead, but being a citizen here doesn't help bring it back to life...

BH you dream crusher.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Sep 6, 2013

The only disadvantage is that occasionally there aren't enough visas to go around. Getting an offer with a Wall Street firm in the US has nothing to do with your country of origin, if you are at a top MBA program. In some cases you may have an advantage due to language skills and a unique story to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Sep 6, 2013
jessylox:

Hi guys,

Do you think it's possible for foreigner with strong educational background (B-school, CFA) to find a decent job on Wall Street or Manhattan in general? Or it is truth then that american dream has come to an end and you must be citizen to be successful over there?
I'm born and raised in Europe, 24, finished undergrad in Germany and master in Netherlands, have CFA lvl 2 and planning to do MBA in US. However as the tuition fees are high as hell I thought maybe I could get a job first and then apply.

Any advice how to plan my career in US?

Mind me asking where you are originally from? Eastern Europe is my guess based on your way of idolizing the US. No offence intended here.

Sep 6, 2013

Non taken Eurodealer. Born in Poland, raised in Germany. And to be fair I'm not idolizing the US. It's just a cliche I keep hearing around here. Maybe I should change my circle of friends. Many of them have an opinion that pursuing a big career in US is difficult but honestly where isn't? I've been to US many times and I enjoy the lifestyle over there so if I think of mba in US, I would like to stay there afterwards, hence my question regarding the level of difficulty in breaking into WS as foreigner.

Sep 6, 2013

It's tougher to get employer sponsorship here now more than any other time in the last ~30 years. I would talk to people you already know; I'm in the DC area and know there is a large Ethiopian population here. They may be able to provide you information for your specific situation.

Best of luck and welcome to WSO!

Dec 26, 2016

Pretty low in general - although if you're at Wharton, they're probably about (or near) as high as they can be for an international UG looking for a job on Wall st.

Dec 26, 2016

Keep in mind being at Wharton combined with a little bit of networking should set you up pretty dam well for a job in Asia if that interests you, they love brand name schools like that there.

Dec 26, 2016

Most of the BBs will sponsor you (maybe all will, not sure). But as someone said earlier, the odds are as high at Wharton as they can be. You should definitely consider Asia recruiting. Wharton kids fare really well in that. But for Wall Street, if you can make the right connections and have good grades, you have a real shot.

Dec 26, 2016

As someone who has spent ~2 years in the US (studying and interning etc) and the rest of my degree/work outside it, I have researched the topic quite thoroughly. Simply put, you have 4 real options:

1) Study in the US - for a full degree, not an exchange, and hope to get a job out of school that way (eg study an MBA in the US in a few years, you could be competitive for solid programs given your MFin and big 4 experience)

2) Get transferred to the US by a company (eg your big 4 firm) - put in a couple of years of work and request/hope for a transfer

3) Marry a US citizen and get a green card that way.

4) Apply for the green card lottery and hope to get lucky

Because you want to do IB, you most likely need to get an MBA in the US to become competitive for IB positions in the US - even if you make it to the US another way, you may not be competitive for IB without the MBA. Probably not what you want to hear, but next to impossible to get in otherwise.

Dec 26, 2016

I've known Persian bankers who have made their start in the UAE. I suggest starting there, then trading out to other markets after a few years.

Dec 26, 2016

Also, don't apologise for being from Iran. You're from one of the oldest civilisations in the world and the world is about to re-discover Persian culture and history as Iran opens back up to the world.

    • 1
Dec 26, 2016
SSits:

Also, don't apologise for being from Iran. You're from one of the oldest civilisations in the world and the world is about to re-discover Persian culture and history as Iran opens back up to the world.

Thanks for the advice, but due to political problems our governments have we can not get a work permit under any circumstances.

by the way i know that you are right about the fact that i should be "proud" to be a Persian but the fact that i'm one of the most qualified persons in my country (for my age at least) and i make 1100$ a month (yes i make 11 Benjamins working full time in one of the most prestigious jobs in my country-_-) leaves a lot to be desired.

Dec 26, 2016

tough luck Pinoy. It's tough for the White Ivy Leaguers - what makes you think it can be a walk in the park without an Ivy League degree for you ?

D.I.

    • 4
    • 2
Dec 26, 2016

Hence, the question.

    • 1
Dec 26, 2016

Sorry to say this, but judging from what you wrote, I don't think you have even the slightest idea of what the process to get a job in the US as foreigner is like. If you can't even do that much of basic research by yourself (which would take like, 10 seconds?), how could you expect anyone to help you? And no, unless you have a legitimate Visa like F-1 or J-1 that will give you something like OPT that enables you to work post-graduation, you will not be able to work in the US.

    • 1
Dec 26, 2016

The Goldman Sachs highly recommends walk in interviews for foreigners. Best of luck.

Best Response
Dec 26, 2016

No

"If you're afraid - don't do it, if you're doing it - don't be afraid!"
-- Genghis Khan

    • 4
Dec 26, 2016

It's gonna be tough man, fellow Filipino here, they're right. It's not easy even for White Ivy League Americans to break in, let alone for us non-Americans.

One of our politicians here Mar Roxas graduated in Wharton and got into Wall Street and became AVP at a Boutique firm Allen & Company but: 1) He was in Wharton for undergrad, 2) Perhaps IB was not as competitive then (but still is).

First of all, I'd like to let you know that even though Wall Street would be the "best" place to get a job in Finance, at least money wise, you could perhaps widen your horizon as well. Be open to working in IB in other countries like Canada, EU, or other Asia-Pacific regions like HK or SG.

Now I know it's not easy (heck nothing in IB is) but if you cast a wider net you'll have a better shot. Do research man. Also, consider getting an MBA / Master's abroad in a top school. Network your way while you're there too. There's no guarantee but it will increase your odds. If you manage to land an IB job in a country with a higher currency value than ours, then if you move back home you could've saved a pretty hefty sum (ideally you've also invested such funds too lol).

PM me anytime for questions bud, happy to help!

Cheers,

    • 2
Dec 26, 2016
Comment
Dec 26, 2016