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Working in Honolulu?

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Honolulu at a Glance

Working in Honolulu

Hawaii's capital and most populous city, Honolulu is a major business and trading hub due to its location in the Pacific Ocean. Check out our guide to make the most out of working in Honolulu: you'll find everything from economic overview and job search to work permit details.

The Local Economy in Honolulu

As Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and also the biggest city of all of the Hawaiian Islands, it is also the center for business, trade, and tourism. There is a big military presence in the city, particularly at the naval base that is still in operation at Pearl Harbor. Tourism is also major economic sector in Honolulu and brings billions of dollars into the city every year, providing many people with their jobs, though many of these are temporary in nature or low-skilled.

As Honolulu is perfectly placed between the East and the West it is also an important center for trade between the two. As such, many international businesses have offices and trading centers in the city.

Job Hunting in Honolulu

Finding a job in a major capital city like Honolulu can be approached in many ways. One of the best ways to find work is to look on local recruitment websites and search for the industry that you are interested in.

Local newspapers such as the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Pacific Business News are also an excellent facility, and regularly have job adverts and news about local and international businesses that operate within the city and within Hawaii as a whole.

Work Permits for Honolulu

In order to work within Hawaii your prospective employer must file a petition on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Only when and if, your petition is successful will you be able to begin working in Honolulu. It is therefore hard to find casual work within the United States, and it is even more difficult to get a so-called Green Card, i.e. the right to remain for permanent residence.

Hawaii State has quite a low unemployment rate, though expats who wish to work in skilled professions such as medicine may have to take American exams in order to be given the right to practice. Though there are many jobs available in Hawaii in the tourism sectors, these tend to be low-skilled jobs and therefore might not appeal or even be an option for expatriates who are dependent on a worker visa.

Education is also another popular sector for expat employment, with many expats choosing to teach in the city’s colleges and universities.

InterNations Expat Magazine