Washington D.C. has always been home to a lot of expats. With the emergence of technology as a significant part of the D.C. economy, it's a great place for tech professionals to consider if they want to move to the United States.
Basics For Tech Expats in Washington, D.C.
Most expats will know that Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States, but it's role in the U.S. tech industry is also growing. Many of the largest tech companies in the U.S. have a presence in the D.C. area to help their lobbying efforts, and some even use it as a base of operations.
"D.C." stands for "District of Columbia." It is its own separate district and not part of one of the actual states that comprise the U.S.A. It is wedged between Maryland and Virginia, parts of which contribute to what is considered the Washington, D.C. area.
Washington, D.C. has great transportation options for expats that don't want to drive. The restaurants in D.C. are also excellent.
Tech Companies in D.C. Area
Expats in the D.C. tech sector will find opportunities beyond the Washington, D.C. city limits. The area encompasses large parts of Southern Maryland and Northern Virginia.
Washington, D.C.'s Mayor recently acknowledged that the tech sector is experiencing significant growth because the government is getting out of the way.
Facebook has an office in D.C. and job opportunities are available.
Expats Should Follow the Funding in Washington, D.C.
One of the primary indicators of the health of any regional tech sector is the amount of funding being pumped into it. Over the course of the last year, significant investments have continued to grow. Expats can track the companies through press releases and articles, such as The 10 Biggest DC Tech Fundings of 2015 - the first three are 1.) Tenable Network Security (Columbia, Md.), Vox Media (Washington, D.C.), Tanium (Emeryville, CA, and McLean, VA). Read the article for the next 7 on the list by DCinno.
DC Tech Jobs For Expats
Expats in Washington, D.C. have a lot of options to explore tech jobs. Last year, Hired launched a D.C. marketplace for Tech Jobs, and Glassdoor.com has D.C. job listings, too.
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.