In a world where proper education and skills can make the difference between feeding a family or being unemployed, many qualified immigrant graduates are finding it surprisingly difficult to find employment that utilizes their expertise and education in any way, many taking jobs that are in no way commensurate with their knowledge and learning. As unfortunate as that may be, almost every immigration lawyer reports this is a reality in the United States today.

Licensing Barriers

Immigrants come to this country intending to continue working in their chosen professions; however, far too often, they can only find work as taxi drivers, hotel staff, cashiers, parking lot attendants, delivery/couriers, food prep, and restaurant servers to name a few. These are individuals who are licensed and qualified to practice a profession in their native countries but are unable to use their education and skills in the United States.

This often happens because there is no standard method of verifying, comparing, and approving the credentials of professional workers. This is especially true for those in the medical field but is also a factor for other professionals, such as accountants, engineers, and lawyers. As a result, many competent people are denied jobs within their fields of expertise.

Shortage of Professionals

An immigration lawyer advises that recent studies on this topic reveal high numbers of immigrants to the U.S. working at jobs that are far below what their capability and training.  This is especially true in major cities and areas with large immigrant populations. If that wasn’t bad enough, it happens even when and where there are shortages for professionals – especially physicians and other medical workers. Because of an employer’s inability to correlate licensing in the United States with foreign licensing, this pattern of what has been termed “brain waste” continues. Such inefficiency in hiring more qualified people where they are needed in this country results in consequences being suffered by the general public as well as the immigrant professional who cannot obtain a job in his or her profession.

Correcting the Problem

The issue of licensing barriers is a significant area of immigration reform that drastically needs attention in the United States.  The advice of an immigration lawyer is that a number of organizations exist today to help non-native citizens obtain the proper jobs where their expertise can be used. Such groups work with an individual’s credentials to associate them with the numerous American licensing requirements. It certainly can be a time-consuming task and often involves some type of legal representation;  yet these organizations have been diligent in helping incorporate foreign professionals into the United States employment system.

Obviously, there is still a great deal of work that must be done to alleviate the problems associated with licensing barriers. Until that happens, it is important for those already living in the United States to seek necessary help in finding work in their chosen field of employment. It is recommended that immigrants who experience difficulty in finding the type of employment in their qualifications due to a breakdown in credential acceptance or license acquisition, discuss their own situation with a qualified immigration lawyer – and get back to working in their trained fields!

Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
(956) 202-0067

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