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What Is Employer Sponsorship?

February 26th, 2010

employer-sponsored-job.jpgIf you’ve already got an undergraduate degree under your belt, you might be contemplating the idea of continuing your studies with a postgraduate degree. These courses can be extremely expensive but you may be able to get sponsorship from your employer to fund your studies if you can convince your employer that your additional skills and qualifications will make you an invaluable asset to the company.

Generally speaking, the grants and loan options that are available to undergraduate students aren’t extended to postgraduates so you may otherwise struggle to find the money without some financial help from your employer. If your intended postgraduate degree is closely linked to your current job, you stand a better chance of securing sponsorship from your employer as the company will benefit from your improved qualifications. However, it can be difficult to persuade an employer to commit to sponsoring your studies as it will almost always mean that they’ll be footing the bill for your studies while continuing to pay your salary, and this can become very expensive for them, especially if they can’t see the obvious benefits in doing so.

If you’re not a United States citizen and are coming to the country to work on a temporary basis from abroad, employer sponsorship can be an ideal way to obtain U.S. residency and work authorization through the H-1B visa. In theory, this visa can be obtained if you hold a four-year higher education degree, and a US employer is willing to offer you a job for which a four-year higher education degree is required and then sponsor you for a via. This visa is valid for valid for 1-3 years and can be continuously renewed as long as you continue working for the employer. In practice, obtaining the H-1B visa can be very problematic as the employer needs to be able to convince the authorities that there are no U.S. candidates that are qualified for the job and can therefore be hired instead of you. In addition, it can also be expensive for the employer to sponsor you, even if they can successfully convince the authorities of the need to hire an employee who is not a U.S. citizen. You can improve your chances of success if you’ve got at least two years of experience working in a relevant field in your home country but there is no guarantee. If you intend to pursue postgraduate study in the U.S., you may be better off applying for a student visa as there is a greater chance of approval.

Things to Consider

If your employer is willing to offer sponsorship for your studies, you need to carefully weigh up the situation before you commit yourself. If they are open to the idea of employer sponsorship, many companies will have a policy that requires you to repay the full costs of your studies if you leave within a set number of years, so this is something to think about if you can’t see yourself staying with the company for at least the length of time that the sponsorship policy dictates.

This article on employer sponsorship has been supplied to us by “Sally A.” from Constant Content.

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