How long does it take to get a job?

Some background about this question:

    • Because of the downturn in the U.S. economy, it may take longer than usual to find a job.
    • A recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO)1 reported that most resettlement agencies stated that it’s taking longer than usual, often as long as 6 months, and in some cases 9-10 months for refugees to find jobs.
      •  The report also noted that U.S. resettlement officials and resettlement agencies stated that without jobs, some refugees are unable to get by on the levels of assistance afforded  by the U.S. refugee resettlement program.
        • Iraqi refugees, in particular, have faced difficulties finding work despite their relatively high levels of education, according to PRM (State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration), ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement), and USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) officials, and representatives from the resettlement agencies.
        •  According to an ORR official and resettlement agency officials, the U.S. resettlement program does not take into account refugees` prior work experience and education in job placements. Rather, the focus of the program is on securing early employment for refugees.
          • PRM data indicate that many Iraqi refugees who were resettled in the United States in fiscal years 2007 through 2009 reported having some secondary education. PRM, ORR, and the resettlement agencies reported that educated Iraqis are struggling to find entry-level employment in the United States, much less employment in their professional field of work.
            • For example, three Iraqi refugees were interviewed about their experience searching for employment in the United States. Two had worked for the U.S. government in Iraq, and one was unable to find an entry-level position requiring no formal education. This individual estimated that he had applied for more than 30 low-skill jobs, such as for a busboy and cleaner, before his former U.S. supervisor in Iraq helped him find a job.1
  • Recent articles:


  1. “Iraqi Refugees and Special Immigrant Visa Holders Face Challenges Resettling in the United States and Obtaining U.S. Government Employment,” by the GAO, March 2010 [] []

One more idea:

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  • When IOM informed me about the date of my trip to USA, and the state where I will be resettled, I started immediately jobs searches online and even applied for job! Yes, I applied and used the date of availability 10 days from my expected arrival day to the US. I didn’t stop searching and applying for jobs during the transition period. I applied for my current job after two weeks from my landing in the US, which means I didn’t even finished unpack my suitcases. It took sometimes 2-3 months here for recruitment process, so don’t worry about being “not ready” yet because you just arrive. Keep searching and applying on first days, it won’t take more than an hour everyday.
    Lower your expectations, it doesn’t matter if you were a manager/supervisor in the last jobs you had because you might need to start from scratch here. Accept entry level jobs and these skills/experiences will help you for quick promotions.

    Answer shared by R.A. — January 30, 2011 @ 8:54 pm

    Great answer. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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