When Should You Mention Your Work Visa in a Job Interview?

Dear Work Coach,

I had my second interview with a great company yesterday. I think it went well. I met the staff I would be working with and they asked me a few specific questions on my skills and certain things that might come up on a day to day basis. It seemed like they wanted to know if I would be a good fit for the department. They were all really nice and they cracked jokes during the meeting, which made me feel very comfortable.

I was very relaxed and smile or laughed when they made jokes and I really think I could get along with the team just great. I hand delivered handwritten thank you notes to each person I met.

I am quite stressed out because I would love to work at this company and the job seemed like just what I am looking for right now. But I might have a small problem.

I’m a little nervous because I currently have an H1B work visa (I’m originally from Venezuela) and I did not mention this issue to the HR manager on the first interview because I was unsure if they would eliminate me as a candidate.

I actually checked with an attorney this week and he assured me there should not be any problems transferring my current visa to the new employer. And I have all the information needed give to the prospective employer about the transfer.

They are an Equal Opportunity Employer, so I figured it should be fine to transfer my visa from my current employer to the new company, but it happened to me before that I got a job offer and they took it back because they didn’t want to deal with the visa transfer.

Do you think I should e-mail the HR person and let her know about the visa or should I call her? And how can I bring this issue up? Or should I wait until I get the job offer?

I would appreciate any thoughts you might have on this particular issue.




Dear Corina,

First let me congratulate you on making it to the second interview. Sounds like it went well.

Unfortunately, I am not an expert when it comes to this issue. I do know that when I used to work for a University and we hired people with Visas, sometimes there were issues about transferability.

Equal opportunity employer is a policy that applies to how open they are to hiring, but it doesn’t apply to the specifics of immigration rules.

Now that you’ve made it through the second interview, I would suggest calling your contact person and letting him or her know your situation. The way I see it, if it was a problem before for you, then you might want to let them know yourself. Since you’ve spoken to a lawyer and can assure them truthfully that there is no problem, than that shouldn’t affect your chances in most cases – especially if they really want you. I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep this hidden.

If they consider it a problem when you tell them, then it would have been a problem later. But if you tell them yourself and explain what you just told us, then you have a better chance of making sure they know the whole thing will be easy. It also makes you seem on top of things which is a plus for a potential employee. If you don’t tell them, they may assume it’s more of a problem than it is.

But please…this is only my opinion. Do what you think is right. Or wait and see if someone else offers some first-hand experience.

PLEASE…if anyone else out there has some advice for Corina, let us know!

Meanwhile, I have my fingers crossed for you, Corina. 🙂

Ronnie Ann


Note: This post comes from comments and responses found in another Work Coach post:

How to Tell If a Job Interview Went Well


About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.


  1. Hi Ronnie Ann,

    So I followed my gut and your suggestion and I e-mailed the HR person at the company this past weekend. She should have gotten the e-mail on Monday. I explained what the visa process was and I made it clear that it really isn’t that big of a deal… mainly just paper work that the attorney takes care of. I also told her I would take responsibility of all fees, etc. So far I haven’t heard from them in regards the job. They said they would have an answer by this week. I’m growing nervous and anxious about this. I guess I’m gonna have to just wait. I was thinking waiting until tomorrow afternoon before make a follow up call. I’ll keep you posted on what happens.

  2. Oh Corina…I hope this works! Congratulations on doing what feels right to you. What you wrote them sounds perfect. If they don’t want you because of this, then they weren’t the right employer for you anyway.

    I wish you all the luck! PLEASE let us know what happens. I so want to hear that you got this job!! (Of course, you want to hear it more than I do. 🙂 )

    Ronnie Ann

  3. Corina says:

    Hi Ronnie Ann,

    So here’s my story… After I e-mail the HR lady from that company she replied to my e-mail about 3 days later saying that the company was not in a position to sponsor my visa, nor to pay the one time fee the immigration office requires the employer to pay. Although she said all this she also mentioned that she was familiar with the H1B process since there was one person on staff who was in my situation. So I though… hmm weird so they do have one person in staff who is sponsored but they are not willing to sponsor me. Oh well, I said. So I called her to discuss the issue further and she explained they had some kind of policy that kept them from sponsoring visas, YET they do have a member of the staff in my situation. So I though Oh well…. I guess this is it… I’m not gonna get the job.

    So two weeks go by and I had made up my mind that I was not getting the job so I moved on and kept looking for other opportunities. Last Friday while I was up in Boston for my sister’s graduation I received a voice mail. It was the HR lady asking me to call her back. It was already to late to call her so I waited until today Monday to give her a call and we’ve been playing phone tag.

    No my logic is that if I hadn’t gotten the job she would have just left a message or even sent me an e-mail saying “sorry, we chose someone else” but she wants to talk to me. So I’m thinking… maybe they wanna give me the job and they are willing to re-consider the visa process? I don’t know what to think. I guess I have to wait until she called me back today. I hope I have good news for you soon!!


  4. Corina says:

    So I got the job offer!!! With the salary I wanted as well. I’m just waiting to hear back from them as to whether or not they want to deal with the visa paper work and all that.

    I’ll keep you posted


  5. Great news, Corina! Wuhoo!

    I’m so happy for you. What a terrific story. Hoping everything from this point on goes smoothly!

    Please do keep us posted. 🙂

    Ronnie Ann

  6. I got a email from the prospective Employer asking my Salary requirement. I gave a reply with my expected salary. Then the employer accepted my salary expectation and asked me too submit the paper next day. But i replied that I need a work Visa for the Technician job. But i get no reply after wards. What should I do email the employee or wait.

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      I would send them an email and ask them what is going on.

      Meanwhile, don’t wait — for this or any employer. Keep looking for a job until you get a good solid offer in writing, for the job title you want with the salary and starting date that works for you.

      Good luck!

  7. This happened to me 2 weeks ago. AN offer was rescinded because ‘applicant not accurate” reason.
    They never had a question if I will require visa. The only question was ‘can yu prove that you can work anywhere in the US!” Personally, I think I can as long as they sponsor me right?
    They said NO. I should have said NO that I cannot work anywhere in the USA.
    So, the cancelled my application, took back the offer and rescinded the offer.

    Two days later, the HR emailed saying that the unversity decided NOT TO PROCEED with the position on campus. But when I was offered initially, I was told by the supervisor that they could not find a Statistician for the past 2 months and glad they found me. AND when I asked for H1-b, they didn’t even tell me they WON’T sponsor, they said my application was not accurate and took back the offer. How sad is that.

    It is definitely discrimination especially they failed to mention in the job description that they wont sponsor visa. I don’t apply to such job. THis was a reputable state university

    • Susan P. Joyce says:

      Based on what I have seen of the hiring process, making assumptions about an employer’s reasons and motivation is risky, although the need for a visa appears to be an issue here. I recommend continuing to look elsewhere for a job. This job may come through for you, or it may not.

      Good luck with your job search!

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