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NA July 11, 2007 04:36

U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
I have recently finished my M.S. in Mech. Engg. with my thesis work in CFD related areas. I have been searching for Fluid Mechanics/CFD related jobs for a while and havent been able to get a good response. Moreover most of the jobs seem to have a citizenship requirement.

I have published several papers (including one in JFM) and it bothers me not to be able to get hired. Has any body on this forum faced this situation ? Any comments / ideas ?

Jonas Holdeman July 11, 2007 08:37

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
Some of the CFD codes are restricted. Non-citizens may use them, but are not allowed access to the code itself. Unfortunately, this can be a problem even for foreign students studying in the US.

pc July 11, 2007 09:05

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
US citizenship is particularly required for any company working with the department of defense. Such companies may have contracts that explicitly state "no foreign nationals."

Mani July 13, 2007 13:58

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
It's not impossible to find a CFD job in the US without citizenship in the private (civil) sector. Without a greencard, however, it's close to impossible nowadays, especially with a foreign degree (although I know of exceptional cases...).

Why not get a Ph.D. at a respectable university in the US, publish some more journal papers, and look for an academic position?

Ben July 13, 2007 16:27

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
I think the xenophobic nature of US immigration (and sadly the majority of the American public) precludes easy access to the states, even more so after 9/11. I have many friends of "ethnic minorities" who have been held up for hours by customs because the colour of their skin is not correct and indeed those travelling with them (on business) have been made to feel equally guilty and have had the finger of suspicion pointed at them. It is a sad state of affairs and unfortunately NA you are more than likely you will fall foul of it too. Ironic for a country founded on immigrants really!

Jonas Holdeman July 14, 2007 09:21

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
Xenophobic? So we are lead to believe. I get angry, particularly at the politically correct media, particularly when they say "Americans believe ....," when I don't believe that and nobody asked me. I hope that in a few years, when the reign of "King George" is over and just a bad memory, that we can enjoy a return of our freedoms. In the meantime it is important to speak up for the rights of our brothers abroad and give them encouragement.

There are many small firms doing CFD work and not involved in federal defense contracts that hire good people regardless of ethnic background. The problem is to match them with the right people (right Alexi? are you listening?).

Ben July 14, 2007 13:34

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
I know plenty of Americans through my current job and without fail they are all nice guys, and I think generally the educated section of the country and those willing to travel beyond their own border are a credit to their country, unfortunately as I say from my perspective and experience, they are the minority. And having a friend who was once asked whether we speak English in London (by an old lady in an elevator) and having once shocked a taxi driver by telling him that Europe is not just one country but many tends to bias my view a little!

Jake July 16, 2007 09:29

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
Thank you Ben, for giving me a good laugh to start my week.

To let an old lady and taxi driver, a clearly statistically stable sample of American demographics, skew your thinking is very telling. You speak of your vast experience with Americans who are afraid to leave their country (I say vast because you appear so confident in your assessment). This experience tells me that you must visit America often. I pity you for having to suffer these fools.

Your comments are akin to me saying that the majority of Brits are pompous jerks because a couple that I happened to have worked with in the course of my career were pompous jerks. Even in face of the fact that I suspect you are British as well, I cannot conclude that the majority of Brits behave this way.

You must be a CD-adapco employee because you take a small experience (analogous to getting a new capability working for some simple benchmarks) and you oversell it (tell all the world that the new capability is extensively validated and can handle all real work applications.)

Thanks again for your post. Keep them coming.

Ben July 16, 2007 10:56

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
Sorry my mistake....

I am not tarring all American's with the same brush, far from it. Unfortunately the as long as you have someone with an IQ below 50 at the helm the image of America is going to remain somewhat sullied (although it could be argued who is worse, the fool or the fool who follows him....).

Yes I am British, the majority of my countrymen are not pompous, although a fair percentage are loutish, poorly educated and indeed xenophobic. Every country has it's problems, not every country has one of the lunatics running the asylum!

Mani July 16, 2007 11:34

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
You cannot completely reject what Ben is saying, although he's giving it the polemic, exaggerated overtone of a stereotype. I don't think it has ever been very easy for foreigners to get a CFD job in the US (or anywhere else). First of all, there aren't a lot of jobs available. Second, citizenship is often required. Third, if the applicant does not even have a greencard, he needs to obtain a visa with support of the hiring company. The company actually has to make a case that there is no equally qualified US citizen available for this job. Few companies would be willing to go through the trouble, even in the past.

There is no question that this situation has become much worse a couple of years ago, and we all know why. The government has become more suspicious of foreigners in general, new restrictions have been put in place, old restrictions are enforced much more rigorously (we felt the pressures of increased scrutiny in every aspect of bureaucracy even at school), the number of visas given out every year has been harshly reduced, and in this atmosphere companies are less willing than ever to go out of their way to support a foreign applicant, no matter how qualified. There is no doubt that the American reaction to 9/11 included a noticeable increase in suspicion of foreigners, both in the government and the public, although it's arguable whether it's reasonable and expected (human nature) or not. My dad (an elderly law-abiding EU citizen) spent 4 hours in interrogation in the basement of an airport when he came to visit me on a tourist visa a couple of years ago. The reason: Security personnel didn't like his country of birth (probably couldn't spot it on a map). The recent hot topic of immigration reform only added fuel to already inflamed negative emotions. All that makes immigration and finding a job undeniably more difficult today than in 2000, although I maintain it's not impossible.

No matter how warmly you'll be welcomed by the majority of the American people, what really matters is the bureaucratic apparatus. Knowing the right people is not always good enough. The bigger question is if you have a good enough reason to put yourself through the trouble to come to the US, or if you should not rather try a more welcoming country whose bureaucracy isn't paralyzing itself with fear.

Jake July 18, 2007 07:55

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs

I think your first two paragraphs are very objective and on the mark. But I think that your comment that the US is paralyzing itself with fear is biased by your fathers experience.

"Paralyzed by fear" is one perspective. Another is assuming a defensive posture, which I have no problem with. Of course I don't have any problems getting a job, so I might be biased. The extra precautions are a pain, but they do provide some level of comfort and from my perspective, they do not appear to be paralyzing.

I think the worst thing that someone can do is make the effort to get a job in the US and then start complaining about America's problems (of which I know there are plenty). But the good must outweigh the bad if you are here. I've told friends who are foreigners and make sport of pointing our America's deficiencies "If you don't like it, go home".

Mani July 18, 2007 08:59

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
>But I think that your comment that the US is paralyzing itself with fear is biased by your fathers experience.

That's right. It's biased by my fathers experience, by my own experience, and by the experience of pretty much every foreigner (or perceived foreign-looking person) I know (and there are plenty). If you think this experience is something unusual, I am glad to clear up that misconception for you. It's become everyday business, although it may not make it to the front page of your newspaper, and you may be lucky enough to be unaffected. I have no intention of being objective, whatever that means.

>I've told friends who are foreigners and make sport of pointing our America's deficiencies "If you don't like it, go home".

You are right that complaining alone doesn't change the system. However, one thing it does is to help replace cluelessness with awareness and create much needed discussions (such as this one). Unfortunately, many important discussions would otherwise not come up, as these issues would be (and still are) either completely neglected or misrepresented in mainstream America. When anti-immigrant backslash after 9/11 leads to harassment, threats and violence against peaceful people who happen to look Arab-like to some ignorant American citizens, who is supposed to complain? The purpetrators? Or should everyone just shut up because that's how it's supposed to be? Or should they go "home" if they don't like it?

Well, they *are* at home!

However, complaining, in this case, on this forum, isn't the objective, anyway. You misinterpreted the point of my comments. I was simply providing information from the perspective of a foreigner to another foreigner who asked for advice.

DD July 18, 2007 09:34

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
Ben wrote

".... (although it could be argued who is worse, the fool or the fool who follows him....)."

Hey... didn't a large dude with booming voice and black armor put you to sleep?

Ben July 18, 2007 09:52

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
I don't know, I have never seen a Barbra Streisand movie...

Jon July 18, 2007 10:50

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
US is about 200 years old, US culture is too child in constrast with other regions, so please let them to learn more and more ... they sholud learn manner and ... they have long road to reach maturity, so don't expect from them by default.

Mani: u r right, my friend has similar experience like ur dad (i am not surprised hearing this !)

Jake July 18, 2007 13:01

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs

Yes. The US is very young. But, to be quite honest with you, I would have rather lived here 200 years ago compared to today.

Your agrument that the US culture is too immature is funnier than Ben's original posting. How long have India, Middle East and African cultures been around? Are they now mature and ideal? I understand that in India, even your own countrymen treat you like dirt if you don't come from the right family. In the Middle East, women are stoned to death if they are seen with the wrong person. In Africa, women are circumcised so that they cannot enjoy sex. Does this sound like a mature culture to you?

I am the first to admit that the US has plenty of problems. And I agree that it is tougher for foreigners to get a fair shake. But, I am not standing on my soap box and claiming that America is this terrible country that has such simple problems which unfortunately its immature citizens cannot solve.

Jon, thanks for the midweek laugh. Let's hope someone can round out the week with a good one on Friday.

Jon July 18, 2007 16:38

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
>In the Middle East, women are stoned to death if they are seen with the wrong person ...

please be careful in ur speech and don't say about what u don't have knowledge !!! (a scientist don't rely on anything that hear)

> In Africa, women are circumcised so that they cannot enjoy sex

is it ur point? i really confirm my previous claim about US culture !!!

> thanks for the midweek laugh

has US citizens any work else laugh !!!

Mani July 19, 2007 07:42

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
>to be quite honest with you, I would have rather lived here 200 years ago compared to today.

Really?? Being honest? Wow! You must not have many African American friends, to say the least. I wouldn't have wanted to live in the US even 50 years ago. And I wouldn't have wanted to live 200 years ago, period. You must really feel out of place, Jake. I feel sorry.

AJS July 19, 2007 08:43

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
NA, THe situation you find yourself in is indeed sad. I graduated about 9 years ago - didnt really have this kind of trouble with finding a job. But now I am on the other side - I am constantly looking for people, good hardworking people who take pride in what they do and I am having just as much trouble finding people because of these restrictions. I am daily amazed by how few citizens there are in this field that meet just the degree requirements - not even the quality requirements!!

THese restrictions trickle down from those imposed by Govt. funding agencies. More often than not, they are ridiculously unreasonable - very basic research projects - where neither critical information is used nor sought - are tagged "US-citizens only" simply because folks at Govt. agencies feel safer doing that. Nobody is clear what should or should_not_be tagged USCO and so they tag them all!

In addition to this there is the delay in getting Green cards. If I hire someone without a GC, they will take, on average, about 5 years (it is that now, unless you are from Canada or some of the EU countries) to get one. This means I have to keep them funded from non-USCO contracts for that period - very dicey with the way the system works right now. So it is a great risk for me to hire someone when I cannot be sure I can keep them funded that long. If I fire them before they get their green cards - they get doubly screwed - depending on where in the process they are, they may need to start all over again - assuming they can even find another job!

So the situation all around stinks! And unless the whole scenario changes, I am not sure the system can sustain itself like this. May be reaching that breaking point is the answer!

Anyways, there is another perspective (from the opposite side of the fence) - Even if it doesn't help you find a job, maybe it helps you understand the situation.


Jake July 19, 2007 10:45

Re: U.S. Citizenship requirements for CFD jobs
I had hoped to let Jon's last irrational post be the end of this thread because it has deteriorated to a pretty low level. I accept some responsibility for this deterioration because of my sarcastic remarks thanking Ben and Jon for the laughs. For that I am sincerely sorry. However, I cannot leave Mani's last post unanswered.

I apologize to you Mani for making comments that got under your skin and bringing you down to the level of making ridiculous accusations. Of course, I did not mean to imply that I promoted slavery when I said I would have rather been around 200 years ago. And to say that I did is wreckless. My intent was to convey to you that I agree that I believe American culture is deteriorating and that I would have rather been around at the beginning when life was simpler. Now, I expect someone to respond : It wasn't simpler for African-Americans. And this is absolutely true. Slavery is a terrible blemish on American history. But, to think of early America solely in terms of slavery, as Mani's email implies (but I don't believe he actually thinks this way) is ignorant. America had and still has a lot to offer. There are good things about America and bad things about America. Anti-American's focus on the bad things and trivialize the good things. As a potential immigrant or a citizen, you need to ask yourself, Do I value the good things enough to tolerate the bad? (at least over the course of time in which I can eliminate all of the bad things and make America perfect). If not, you would probably be happier living somewhere else.

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