Why do (most) employers in the US refuse to sponsor visas for international applicants?

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It seems like it would be easy enough to do, and refusing can turn away qualified candidates?

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Its not that easy and its not cheap, and it takes a long time. It takes a lot of work (meaning time) for someone to do all the paperwork, along with consulting an immigration attorney and services that do a lot of the work for you and make sure it will pass, and even then, it still takes a while for everything to get approved.

In addition to that, it can be very difficult for some positions to get approved for H1-B visas

Lots of time and money invested for what could be nothing, or just hiring someone local who can do the job and never have to worry about any of this.

It’s incredibly expensive and time consuming.

Unless it’s a field with extraordinarily limited local/US talent

Because they don’t need to. It’s expensive, and risky, and there’s plenty of talent here to chose from.

Firstly, the kinds of businesses who could afford to recruit overseas generally do not lack qualified candidates here in the states. (It’s a big, populous country.)

Secondly because US immigration law is difficult to navigate and there are caps to the number of applicants from many countries.

Lastly, the employer must justify why they are not hiring a US citizen to be able to sponsor a visa. (In most cases if qualified applicants can be found within the country, you won’t be granted the visa.)

You need to hire someone now. Do you

1) hire someone who can start right away

2) hire someone who might be able to start work an indeterminate amount of time in the future after an expensive, complicated & uncertain legal process