Development Bootcamp: International Applicants' Frequently Asked Questions

Hack Reactor's development bootcamp receives a lot of questions from international applicants, non-U.S. citizens, and those without a visa regarding whether they should come to our program and their prospects for eventually working in the U.S. Here are a few of the most common queries and our responses.

International Applicants: Tuition

- Do you have any kind of help, discounts, etc, in the tuition for international students?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible for our deferral program.

- What is included in the tuition, aside from the course? Can you provide any sort of housing for international students?

We would be happy to point you in the right direction, but students are ultimately responsible for their own housing.

International Applicants: Job Placement

- Did you have international students before? Do you know anything about job placements for such?

We have had quite a few international students. This is what one of them, who now actually works for Hack Reactor, has said on the matter:

"The barrier for entry to work in the U.S. is incredibly high. The factors at play here are largely out of our control, and often out of the control of companies themselves. A comprehensive starting resource is the State Department guidelines. That said, it is a little overwhelming if you’re not familiar with this system.

These are some key takeaways I had:

  • You will almost certainly need to be sponsored by a company to work in the U.S.

  • Typically, only larger companies are capable of affording the legal fees and wrangling the red tape involved in this process.

  • The most common instrument for company sponsorship by far is the H-1B visa, of which there is an annual quota of 65,000. If that quota is reached for the year by the time your company tries to sponsor you, you will be in limbo for several months.

  • A Bachelors degree in a technical field - or 12 years of equivalent work experience in that field - is almost always essential (exceptions include winning a Nobel Prize, curing a disease etc).

  • Even if you are sponsored by a company, the work visa application process involves you returning to your home country and applying from there, where it could take months to get approved.

  • Exceptions apply to some of these requirements for some Canadian, Australian, Irish and South Korean citizen."

Development Bootcamp: Getting a Visa

“My name is ************************** and I'm a non-u.s citizen looking to apply to Hack Reactor in order to gain quality, foundational knowledge on building web applications.

From information Hack Reactor provides on the Internet, it seems, in some way, international applicants can't really take advantage of the value Hack Reactor provides after graduation. They also experience difficulties getting a U.S visa before starting programming bootcamp.

As an individual with an interest in solving problems with technology, I think I can overcome the visa screening process. Hence, I wish to know if Hack Reactor would welcome an applicant like me before I commit to studying further. Let me know if I should place my bet on Hack Reactor.”

Our answer: Hack Reactor does not have the accreditation necessary to be seen as a qualifying educational institution in the eyes of the US government. Therefore, all international students have needed to make arrangements necessary to enter the U.S. unrelated to Hack Reactor.

Those who arrive on three month visas have needed to return to their home countries immediately on completion of the program. Most are able to start hiring conversations during the last 3 weeks of the program during the time that the course focuses on hiring. Some exceptional students have been able to set up contracting rates of $95/ hr or remote work paying around $100k per year. Nothing is guaranteed however, as there are a lot of unfortunate complications for international students attending development bootcamp.

Great Outcomes for International Applicants at Development Bootcamps

If you do attend Hack Reactor, we would not recommend that you expect to be able to work here. This is possible but by no means a certainty.

That said, the skills you pick up here are valuable around the world. Graduates walk out the door with an increasingly awesome array of project work that would impress employers in any country.

Start your programming career - take our admissions coding challenge here!

Hack Reactor's Shaohua Zhou created a way to relive his immersive coding experience at Hack Reactor in S.F.