No, you don't need to sponsor my visa
May 24, 2013 6:48 AM   Subscribe

I'm a US citizen applying for a job in the US. Sounds like no one should think I have visa issues, right?

As I finish my first draft of my resume, I'm realizing that it sounds like I'm not originally from the US. My earliest relevant work experience is from university, which I attended in a different country. I'm currently back in the US, but my relevant experience here is either in school or in volunteer positions, which suggests that I'm here on a visa. I'm applying for a job that specifically states that they are not interested in sponsoring visas - I suspect they get a lot of foreign candidates, and I don't want my resume trashed immediately.

I'd like to figure out a decent wording to state that I am qualified to work in the US without any extra hassle for my employer, while still sounding highly professional. I'd like to put this in my resume, because I think it is very important for this position, but I could also add it to my cover letter. I'd appreciate feed back on wording my ability to work in the US for either application.

I've also considered adding my high school information (in the US) or the unrelated-to-my-career-goals US job I had between high school and university, but both of those seem amateurish.
posted by fermezporte to Work & Money (20 answers total)
Why not just add a line at the bottom of the page that says "US Citizen"
posted by JPD at 6:52 AM on May 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

Note it in the cover letter:

To avoid any confusion, I shoudl note that although I completed my college education in [Country], I am an American citizen and will not require [Company] to sponsor me for any type of visa.
posted by ewiar at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2013 [12 favorites]

Yes, I have definitely seen "US Citizen" listed on resumes before. It's common to state something like "US Permanent Resident" or other immigration status at the top of the resume near your name and contact details, so I would put "US Citizen" there as well.
posted by telegraph at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a list of bullet points where I kind of botton-line my resume. Just do one of these and add a bullet point for US Citizen. Done and done.

It looks like this:

Sales and marketing professional with over twenty years of experience with multi-national corporations.
• Degree
• Project management
• Managing and coaching direct reports
• Matrix Management
• Compiling financial analysis and reports.
• Developing and delivering leadership and sales training.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2013

In the US, it's non-standard to put your citizenship on your resume. However, my European colleagues do it all the time. I think if there's any chance that the HR person is going to put it straight in the shredder, you should put in on the resume; probably near the top. I might just put it under your biographical information (i.e. address, phone number, email address).
posted by Betelgeuse at 6:55 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

This may not be directly applicable, but in academia, I see it often, even when there's no other indication that the applicant may not be a US citizen. Just a line in biographical information: "Citizenship: USA".
posted by supercres at 6:57 AM on May 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

It's non-standard to include citizenship, when you're a US citizen - but you have a non-standard situation, and it's just one line, and it's far from unheard of.
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:58 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

In the US, it's non-standard to put your citizenship on your resume.

Well, yes, this is true. But it's also true that some US citizens have not lived in the US for a while and so have work experience outside the US. Rather than having the HR person toss the resume because of potential visa issues, it is better practice for the OP in this case to put "US citizen" somewhere in a prominent position on the resume, and probably the cover letter as well.
posted by dfriedman at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2013

I would put a line at the very bottom that says: Visa Status: US Citizen. I've seen loads of resumes with those, especially from people with Indian names. (I'm in IT, where Indian citizens here on H1B visas are extremely common)
posted by deadmessenger at 7:02 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I work in a field where international applicants are common, and have a non-WASP name. My university career services office recommended I add "US Citizen" to the personal info section of my resume. As far as I could tell, this had no negative effect.

You could also highlight this subtly in your cover letter. "Traveling abroad for my university degree gave me the ability to communicate with a diverse clientele and also afforded the opportunity to become proficient at $language."
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:07 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I put that I am a U.S. citizen on my resume and it has certainly never hurt me.
posted by grouse at 7:09 AM on May 24, 2013

Because I both apply for jobs where US Citizenship is a requirement and because I have a very foreign sounding name, I list my US citizenship on my résumé. This is not remotely awkward.
posted by deanc at 7:10 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I might just put it under your biographical information (i.e. address, phone number, email address).

That's where I have my citizenship listed. In my case, I'm a foreigner and do need a work permit so it's relevant. But it's such a small, easy thing to do and it would clear up some potential confusion in your case so just throw it in there. Personally I haven't mentioned it in cover letters because it can be discussed at an interview if they care. If your case they won't even care since there's nothing they need to do, so don't put it in the cover letter or make any kind of big deal about it.
posted by shelleycat at 7:11 AM on May 24, 2013

I always put citizenship with personal info (address, phone number). That way it's visually unobtrusive and yet gets read since recruiters/HR know it's important.
posted by fraula at 7:12 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

This well traveled Kentucky girl is ready to join your team.
posted by myselfasme at 7:14 AM on May 24, 2013

Any company that would look at a resume askance if it included a "Citizenship: U.S.A." line or the like is not a company that you want to work for. Put it in with your personal info and let the idiots weed themselves out.
posted by Etrigan at 7:23 AM on May 24, 2013

Yes, just put it on there. I'm a corporate recruiter and I'm always relieved when I see it noted on a resume.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:30 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why not just add a line at the bottom of the page that says "US Citizen"

I do HR and recruiting at my company and nearly all of our resumes come in with a small note on the bottom about visa status/citizenship. We also get the vast majority of our people from recruiters, and the good recruiters always include a note at the bottom their little introductory spiel emails about status.

That's where I'd put it if I were you and concerned. However, if you have a very American-sounding name I wouldn't worry about it at all.
posted by phunniemee at 7:43 AM on May 24, 2013

The format of my CV (British) is:
Contact phone
Contact email

Key skills

Just put it on there, it'll be fine.
posted by corvine at 8:04 AM on May 24, 2013

Strangely, employers are not allowed to ask if you are a US citizen, but can only ask if you have the legal right to work in the US. I have seen wording to that effect on a resume ("I have the legal right to work in the US"). However, it is not strange at all and perfectly fine for you to put "US Citizen" on your resume.
posted by overleaf at 9:14 PM on May 24, 2013

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