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Working in Detroit?

Join InterNations to meet other expats where you live and read more articles like Working in Detroit with relevant information for expats.

Leandro Pellegrini

Living in the USA, from Argentina

"I'd never have expected that finding new contacts in Detroit could be so easy. A big thank you to InterNations for making it possible! "

Antoinette Beaufort

Living in the USA, from France

"Exploring Detroit's nightlife with a couple of expats who were new in town, too, made the transition to the States so much more fun. "

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Detroit at a Glance

Working in Detroit

After a long period of economic downturn, Detroit is now buzzing with a new optimism and growth across industries with major companies sitting alongside smaller start-ups. That makes it a great place for expats to find work in Detroit, no matter what industry or which opportunities you are looking for.

The Local Economy in Detroit

As the most populous city in the state of Michigan, Detroit is also an important commercial and transportation hub for the region at large. Although its industrial sector has, in recent history, been around the automotive industries, today the local economic makeup is far more diverse - although car manufacturing companies such as Ford and General Motors still locate their headquarters here.

Today finance, insurance, technology and energy companies all choose Detroit as their base, as do large banks and finance companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young who both have large offices in the city. This means that qualified expats should be able to take advantage of the opportunities available to them within the most successful sectors, as well as the industries that support the buoyant employment climate.

Education is also important for Detroit, with Wayne State University and also the University of Detroit both located in the city. Health care is also a major employer and the universities follow this by offering world-class medicine and health-care courses. Due to the economic downturn, many companies (especially young companies) have moved into the city to benefit from cheaper office space and resources. This has led to the creation of a vibrant new business scene in Detroit where the atmosphere is one of opportunity, growth and potential. As more professionals move into the area, the building and construction industry has also been reignited to accommodate these new workers and residents.

Due to the results of the sharp economic decline of the city after the automotive industry collapsed, Detroit has another economy that is unique to the city. Creative practitioners, photographers and filmmakers are all moving to Detroit to take advantage of cheap rents and creative energy, and also to take, as their subjects, the numerous epic derelict buildings found all over the city, such as the abandoned Michigan Central Station.

Work Permits for Detroit

If you're looking to relocate to Detroit from outside of the United States, you will need a work permit to be able to operate in the city. There will be different procedures for those wanting to work as a temporary resident or a permanent one. These are all tied into your visa application, and relevant information can be found from the United States Immigration and Visa office in person or online. Your current or future employer, if you have one, will be able to assist you with this process and you will need to prove you have the necessary skills, education and work experience to apply.

You can apply online or at the United States embassy in your country. You'll need to have a valid passport and other supporting documents ready, as well as having to pay a fee. Work permit processing can take some time, so make sure you apply well ahead of schedule. It is important to remember that the United States is one of the most popular destinations to work in the world, and this can affect timescales and processing accordingly.

There are American embassies all over the world, and you can find a full list with links to each's website here: US Embassies

Job Hunting in Detroit

While you may be transferring to a job from your previous work at home, or may already have something new lined up, you may also decide to move to Detroit first and look for employment once you get there. If you're looking for work in Detroit, there are many different ways to discover opportunities.

The modern method of looking for a job is to check job postings online from general international sites that have a Detroit section, such Indeed or Monster. There are a plethora of these types of sites and these can be useful to bookmark for any level of job whether, that be a CEO position for you or a part time job for a family member. The two main newspapers, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News both have comprehensive jobs sections, and these can be accessed both online and in the print editions. If you have a specific industry or employer in mind it is also worth buying or subscribing to an industry specific journal; many of these can be found freely accessible from your local library.

Local newspapers will post jobs that will be far more specific to your local area, and not only does each Detroit suburb publishes one of these, but there are many newspapers with job sections that exclusively publish online.

Not all opportunities will be listed in newspapers, however, and your best bet is to cast your net wide online. Aside from national job sites that advertise jobs all over America, for example American Job Center, it's worth taking a look at more local job sites and job boards such as Craigslist. It would also be worth consulting resources such as local employment agencies and services for advice, such as the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation.

InterNations Expat Magazine