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When should I reveal my visa status to a potential employer?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am interviewing for a position as an assistant to an agent at a talent agency in Hollywood. I got past the first interview and was asked back for a second one with the agent himself. I didn't bring up the visa issue because the HR person did not ask me about it. I am currently on an OPT until next May and so I checked the box that said I was authorized to work in the US. I'm contemplating whether I should wait until they offer me the job to tell them about my status or to do it before then. I'm concerned that this will hinder my chances, as most of them seem reluctant to hire me simply because of my immigration status. What should I do?

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Attorney answers 2


IT might hinder your chances. You should really talk to them before/during the second interview. Don't waste your or their time. If they are looking for a person to work for them for a longer period than your authorization, than you know what to do. This being said, they should not require from you more proof of your ability to work than they would from a US citizen. Maybe they will sponsor you for a work visa? You will have to disclose your status before they hire you 100%, imagine what it will be if you don't tell them up unitil the last second.

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Your question presents a character issue as much as a visa issue. Put yourself in the position of the prospective employer. How would you react if after interviewing multiple applicants, you belatedly discover that the applicant of your choice has only a limited period of employment authorization? Such a situation may result in disqualification on the basis of absence if trust. On the other hand, if you are straightforward, and the best candidate, chances are that you would be selected and the prospective employer would be willing to process the required visa for you.

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