Working in USA

Hello there,

 I am currently working in London as a sommelier. I am going for my Advanced exam in November in Austria and I am almost finished with my Diploma WSET. Thinking of moving to USA at some point and hopefully finish my MS there but it is quite hard obtaining any kind of work visa. 
 Anyone know of any company that would sponsor/hire a sommelier and help me with visa? 
  I am also thinking of some program in CIA so that I could get some student visa but again, after I finish the program I need someone to sponsor my next visa? 

 Many thanks for any help. 

  • It is my understanding that a student Visa is much more easily obtained than a work Visa. That being said have you tried reaching out to hotel groups? When I was at a restaurant in a Four Seasons hotel in China there were always opportunities for employment in different countries around the world posted. A company that size has the legal/financial muscle to make things happen and Four Seasons in particular has several great restaurants around the country.
    Good luck!
  • Hi Blagoy,

    I came to the US back in 2008 to get an associates degree at the CIA. I started working for a Relais & Chateaux company after graduating from school to do my optional 1 year practical training before they sponsored my work visa. I would highly recommend working for R&C properties since I believe they do sponsor work visas for qualified professionals.

    If you are doing the student visa route (F1), the next step would be the OPT (allows you 1 year), then you'll need to file for your work visa (H1-B or J or O visas).

    With that said, I also understand that the climate right now regarding obtaining work visas are a little bit trickier (less H1-B visas being granted), but I still think that applying at a Relais property might be slightly easier.

    Hope this helps,
  • In reply to Nathan Bihm:

    Thanks for your reply! I will definitely check Four Seasons if they would something like that.
  • In reply to Paula De Pano:

    Hello Paula,

    What program did you do at CIA? I will definitely contact the R&C company regarding work visa.

    Thanks for your help,
  • In reply to Blagoy Kuzmanski:

    I have always wished there were some kind of Somm/Exchange program. I would love to spend a year in Europe!!
  • In reply to Marsella Charron:

    I am thinking of doing a wine program at CIA and meanwhile find a company that would be able to hire me and therefore sponsor my visa. As you work at quite well known restaurant you might know the atmosphere around. Do you have any advice or idea if something like that would work out?
  • In reply to Blagoy Kuzmanski:

    Some seasonal places have H2B or J1 programs. They will hire as a general "restaurant attendant" but that type of position can encompass Sommelier jobs. I am not sure what resorts hire on a H2B/J1 anymore. Often they are seasonal resorts like ski resorts or summer, beach resorts. A website like hospitality would be were I would start looking. And of course you could work in Canada easily as it is part of the Common Wealth. Some wineries will offer visas for temp positions too but the work is usually for production or viticulture.