Expats who work in Austin for tech companies enjoy one of the fastest growing regional tech centers in the world. Austin also has excellent housing options, a dynamic art scene, and some of the best food in America... it truly is one of the best places to live in America.
Basics for Tech Expats in Austin
Expats living in Austin know that Austin's Economy is driven to a considerable extent by large tech companies.
Austin's Chamber of Commerce identifies its key tech industries as being:
- Creative & Digital Media Technology
- Clean Energy & Power Technology
- Data Management
- Space Technology
The Chamber's website also reads that "Central Texas is recognized as the smartest, safest and fastest growing area in the country. Our strong economy, highly educated and talented workforce, globally respected research institutions, and driving entrepreneurial spirit keep us on the leading edge of business."
Sounds like a great place for a start up!
Austin is in Central Texas - southwest of Dallas, northeast of San Antonio and northwest of Houston.
The University of Texas at Austin plays a big part in defining the city for a variety of reasons. The benefit of being near a large research-centered university cannot be overestimated - and the recreational activities it creates should hardly be ignored.
Life in Austin, Texas
Austin has amazing restaurants. Yes, of course there is amazing barbecue, but expats will find all kinds of international cuisine in Austin. Austin knows food.
Austin also has great music. Austin City Limits is famous as a tv show, music festival and venue for live music.
Austin is Competing With Silicon Valley
The State of Texas created a large number of business incentives to attract businesses. It seems to have worked. There are a lot of variables involved.
An article in Forbes about businesses moving to or starting in Texas stated that the energy from the tech sector "has turned some Bay Area towns into expensive areas that are prone to some serious traffic jams. Los Altos, in the heart of Silicon Valley, has become the most expensive housing market in the U.S.... it's a far different story in Texas, where land is still cheap."
In short, employers are betting that lower taxes for their businesses and lower costs of living for their employees is a winning combination.
Expats Can Work at Almost Any Major Tech Company in Austin
Expats in Austin that want to work for worldwide leaders in technology will find everything they need.
Take a peak at Apple's Austin campus, it's second largest in the world.
Facebook's Corporate Office in Austin typically has job openings available there.
Dell's headquarters is in Round Rock, Texas in the Greater Austin area and has jobs available there.
Oracle announced plans for a cloud campus in Austin at the end of 2015
The H1-B is the visa expats use for entering the United States to obtain technology jobs.
It is a visa in extremely high demand by people all over the world. CNN recently wrote a story about the 2016 H1-B program for expats coming into the United States, reporting that "this year, 236,000 foreigners applied for the H-1B, the most common visa for high-skilled foreign workers. That's up 3,000 from 2015 -- and up significantly more from 2014 which had 172,500 applications."
In the United States, the program is controversial. Many in the United States worry that the program is taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, that the program doesn't provide jobs to who it is designed for, among other issues.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote an article about ending abuse of the program, and WSJ.com wrote an article about how to fix the H1-B program.