By Cristina Perez, Founding Partner
Are you a seasoned professional moving to the United States for a job opportunity? Or are you moving to America in search of a new career?
If this is you, let me ask you one question:
What makes you so special?
If you are planning to emigrate to the United States, you’re going to need a very good answer to this question - and you will need proof to back it up.
California Law Firm has helped hundreds of white-collar, professional individuals gain legal status within the United States. A successful application, we’ve found, goes much further than simply filling out the forms correctly. In order to do well with the immigration authorities, you must find a way to stand out.
For many people, this is a challenge: but you must remember that immigration doesn’t know about your professional accomplishments, and cannot easily guess why your unique experience is so exceptional. You simply have to spell it out for them - and, as I often remind my clients, this also means you must spell it out to your immigration lawyer.
This goes beyond what your career may look like on paper. I recently worked with a journalist who had three decades of experience at a major international organization - but what did he actually do there? What were his accomplishments? What was the impact of those accomplishments? I soon learned that he had convinced his organization to enter the world of digital publishing, which had led to their success because they were ahead of the pack. Now this was an important detail to communicate!
Wherever you are in the world, unique experience and demonstrated skill will always make you valuable. The United States, like any other nation, is always seeking the best and brightest minds to contribute to their fields. If you can show that you will be a valued contributor - especially if there are few people in the world with the skills you offer - this will help your application.
The specific evidence needed varies from person to person, industry to industry, and application to application. Nonetheless, here is a starter list of what you should prepare:
- Your complete, updated CV - written by a professional resume writer who can make it as strong as possible, and highlighting your uniqueness
- Copies of every degree and certification you have earned
- Records of all awards and special recognitions you have received
- Written recommendations from employers, colleagues and/or experts in your field
All of these documents should work together to paint a picture of your irreplaceable contributions: in other words, what makes you so special.
There is a side benefit to this as well, for job seekers. Companies may be reluctant to hire immigrants, because it’s an additional legal hoop to jump through for them. However, if you have an outstanding CV, letters of recommendation and so on, employers will take you very seriously, and will be much more willing to go through that extra step in order to have you on their team.
So as I say to my clients, put aside your ego for a moment, and brag.