Delta does not support/sponsor US Visas for employees... True or false?

Jan 18, 2020
Hello, I need some information about a supposed Delta policy about not supporting US Visas for employees who want to move there.

I'm looking for a way to bring my girlfriend in the USA so we can live together. She works for Delta outside of the USA.
She heard that Delta has a policy not to support those Visas and employee transfers between countries. ("Supporting" is the word she uses when explaining this to me, I assume this means "Sponsoring").

I'm trying to get clarifications on what this means:
  • Is it simply that Delta doesn't cover the costs for Visa applications? (we could look at covering the costs ourselves).
  • Or is it that Delta strictly refuse to even sign and put their name on the paperwork, even if they don't have to pay anything?

I just need a straight answer from someone in the know about that Delta policy, if such a policy does indeed exist.
Anyone knows about this and can shed some light?

- She has been inquiring from within Delta for months, but it's a huge company and so far it has been impossible to get confirmation of this.
- I don't need legal advice at this point, nor assistance from an immigration lawyer (we already have one) or whether or not she even meets requirements for such or such class of Visa--thys is beyond the scope of my question. I just need information from someone working at Delta that either has prior experience with a similar situation or is directly involved in this process for visas and would have an unequivocal answer (maybe someone from Human resources, or a Hiring Manager/Director?).
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I’ve never seen an airline sponsor a US work visa or permanent residency unless it was for a MD or VP level position. I’ve had dozens of people work for and with me on H1B’s but they were all contractors working for another company who was willing to sponsor them, usually for a huge pay cut (indentured servitude, anyone?).
I used to work for the Texas Employment Commission (now known as the Texas Workforce Commission...see the difference?) Bringing someone to the United States on a work visa is difficult to say the least. Application must be made by the company wanting to hire this person to the Workforce Commission ( or whatever the agency is called in your state) to certify to the extent possible that there is not already a person in the U.S. capable, available, and equipped with the right skills to do the job. There are cases where the foreigner does in fact have unique (in the true meaning of the word) skills needed to do a job. In 99+% of the time, the job is in the Information Technology field. You would have to prove that there is no one already in the United States legally (doesn't matter if they are or are not a citizen) that could do the job. In any case, I doubt there is such a job at Delta.

The law is intended to assure that jobs are not being given to non-residents when there are legal residents who are unemployed and are willing to do the job available. There is also the fear of sponsoring people into the U.S. on bogus pretenses.

I know you said you don't need legal advice (wrong again), but this is just a suggestion. I wouldn't push this issue too much, I doubt a job that your girlfriend can do is not already taken or could only be done by her. Also annoying the people in HR (I suspect you've already been told NO by someone there) could get a person who is not a permanent resident placed on the "Time's Up, Pack your Bags; Time to go home" list.
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Thanks for your input. I've heard the same thing too about airlines generally not sponsoring visas. I guess I'm just unclear as to what that means not wanting to Sponsor visas (more about this below in my response to jimntx)

First, to clarify, the reason I said not needing legal advice is because I wanted to direct responses specifically toward addressing the existence (or not) of such an internal policy from Delta. I already have immigration attorneys helping on this case, they already explained to me it would be (very) difficult, but we hit the first roadblock by not knowing if Delta would even support this or not. This is what the immigration firm first needs confirmation of before going further. If there is such a policy then there's no point in trying to progress further.
I'm specifically trying to determine if Delta doesn't want to do this because they don't want the financial burden (i.e. it costs thousands of dollars in attorney and filing fees), or if they strictly refuse to prepare the necessary paperwork even if it's at no financial cost to them (my girlfriend and I would cover all the costs).

That said, thank you for your input, it gives me more information about the process and all information I can gather at this point is helpful.
Your feedback really adds some context and helps me understand better. But yes I agree with you, I know first hand it's difficult to get a US work visa. I am myself working in the US under visa and I can tell you the amount of paperwork and requirements to fulfill and justifications was not an easy task, even working with immigration attorneys.
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Sponsoring the visa isn't about the costs. H1B's are exceptional i.e. an exception is needed to bypass the backlog of people already in the queue for residency/work permits. Sponsorship means the company has done the due dilligence and there's nobody else available to do the job that the applicant is being considered for.

Based on what you've been told (and yes, a non-answer from HR is an answer...) I wouldn't hold out hope on this short of getting married. Even that might not allow her to work here.
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Thanks everybody, much appreciated.
So, what I'm getting from all this is no direct confirmation of a Delta policy against supporting visas, however supporting visas appears to be very rare (from Delta and other airlines), if even possible. So, for all intents and purposes, policy or not, this isn't something that Delta is likely to do (very unlikely is what I'm getting).