Working abroad

i’m currently refining my plan to break into the game industry and thinking about some job applications even though I’m unlikely to succeed unless I aim low (seeing as how I have no previous experience).

Anyway, what I would like to know is how exactly does one get a job permit to work (and live) in another country?In particular the USA.

Assuming the company is interested in hiring me what does the USA require from me in order to let me in?

If anyone who is not from the US knows about how the system in his/her country works please share. The US is but one possibility. I already discarded Japan since it will probably be impossible for a beginner.


Don’t know where your from, but from my knowledge you need a “Green Card” thingy to work in America. Obtaining one however is no easy task, apparently (I dont even live in America so check out the cheek of me.).

Most countries however have a “skills list” however, which is a list of occupations and trades that country is experiencing a shortage of. So if Australia needs carpenters and happen to be a fully fledged carpenter, it counts for a lot. Thus you might want to look for programming jobs just to get in a particualr country with some form of income to be on a stable platform from which you can achieve your more game orienated goals.

Hope this helps.

I can’t say as I know anything definite Gehn, I was born in the US so it’s obviously not something I’ve needed to know and I have had no close relationship with anyone who’s had to go through the process.

The only thing I can recall picking up on a few times is that it’s usually even more difficult to obtain a work permit if you’re already in the country without one. I’ve heard stories of people being required to leave the country and wait till everything is cleared. That may simply be about the technicality of being in the US in a less than perfectly legal status, which would then make clearance impossible. So if you’re visiting you’ll need to get a job offer within some time frame I think. Since deportation never really happens without a specific reason people may stay indefinitely, but if they’re “technically” past the visitation window then they’re kinda screwed as far as becoming legal again.

Regardless, the best possibility is to get a job offer in advance from a company, and they will likely be able to expedite the process and take care of everything for you anyway.

I meant to reply but I kind of forgot :anjou_embarassed:

Thanks for both of your replies. In the meantime I’ve been investigating a few possibilities. I pretty much gave up on the US for now as it is really difficult to get in, into the industry, unless you have a proven track record. Not the case and might not be desirable actually, depending on the situation.

As a citizen of an EU country I need no permits to work within EU space and I’ve been thinking about the UK (specifically) for quite a while.I’ll/I’ve be(en) sending some applications and whether I get feedback or not I’ll probably think in european terms from now on.

Canada is another possibility (actually it’s my favorite) and even though it’s easier than the US it’s still difficult from what I’ve read.

I am actually thinking of moving from the US to Canada in the future. I am unsure at the moment of how I will get there though.

Basically, I believe you must secure a job before you can legally live in the country. This requires you to have notable talent and something to show the company you wish to work for before they are at all likely to hire you? (More than a standard degree in computer science, I assume?) I am pretty sure that is how it works at least.
Kind of a tough situation of course! I imagine the industry being incredibly hard to get into. Good luck though!

The west coast is definitely a hot bed of video game jobs. There’s the Omnipresent Microsoft here in Western Washington, Bungee Studios and the smaller less known Flying Labs. If you care to venture south to California, you will find a wealth of game companies, but also a great deal of competition. As an American citizen, I haven’t the foggiest idea as to how an immigrant would get a work permit. I know that if you study abroad, you’re alright while you’re in school. Otherwise, I am not certain. I would advise you to perhaps check into the respective web pages of the companies you’re interested in and looking at their job openings. Some of them even have contact information, so you could ask them directly.

Also, be ready to present them with a website. That seems to be the industry standard, now. Prospective employers want to see your portfolio online.