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Candidate FAQ

How long are ectalent placements?

An ectalent Early Career Talent (ECT) placement is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for top performing students and recent graduates from leading international universities, to experience working for high-tech companies right in the heart of Silicon Valley. Placements typically last 12 or 18 months depending on client requirements and visa eligibility.

What is the duration of the U.S. visa?

Typically, your U.S. J1 visa is issued for 12 or 18 months, depending on candidate eligibility and client project needs. You must obtain a J1 visa in order to participate in the ECT Program (If you're selected, we will work with you to apply for your visa).

What kind of company would I be placed in? What project would I expect to work on?

ectalent has a wide variety of client companies - from early-stage companies to global multinationals - most have operations based in Silicon Valley, CA. All client companies provide ECTs with exciting projects to work on that depend on the needs of the Hiring Managers. ectalent works with candidates to march them up against your personal strengths and interests. Most of our client placements require specific engineering/IT skills, while others may require more general business/office related skills. Make sure your CV and application mention your specific skills (IT computer/technical skills, business, leadership), projects you have worked on and areas of current and future interest.

What kinds of software engineers are you looking for?

Our clients need help in a wide range of areas. Here are some examples:

Full-stack / front-end / back-end web

Mobile (i.e. iOS and Android)


Embedded/realtime systems

Cloud engineers

Network engineers


Graphics / Image processing

Open source contributors

OS / System programmers

Data Science / Engineering, Analytics

Machine Learning


Application developers

What is the hiring process?

Candidates start the process by applying through ectalent's website. Resumes are screened and CANDIDATES are shortlisted for interview by ectalent staff.
Once that's done, promising candidates are scheduled for interview with relevant client hiring managers and technical staff.
If successful, clients instruct ectalent to extend a placement offer. Once the offer is accepted, ectalent works with the candidate to apply for a U.S. visa. Visa applications generally take about 6 weeks.
Once the visa is issued, ectalent schedules air travel and candidates arrive in the U.S. where they are greeted by an ectalent team member. ectalent then provides briefing and onboarding for several days before candidates start work at their host company.

When would I expect to start work?

After the interview process, most of our client projects will require you to start work within 2 to 3 months after your initial Skype interview with Tony West. It is not a problem if you are available at a later date since we have client projects all year round and we hire ECTs on an on-going basis. Also, ectalent is not limited by the academic calendar.

What will I learn?

Once placed, you will learn and deepen critical technical, business, and professional skills as you collaborate on impactful and exciting next-generation projects, all while networking with fellow ECTs and their own new company coworkers. Apart from work, ECTs have the opportunity to experience U.S. cultural activities, such as sports games, visits to U.S. national parks, famous landmarks. You'll have the chance to travel/visit other cities/states and participate in events such as Thanksgiving, backyard barbecues, etc.

What happens after an ECT's placement completes?

Participating ECTs must depart the U.S. within 30 days after completion. Most return to their home countries, to either complete their degrees, or start a new job. In some cases, ECTs continue to work for their U.S. company in their home country with an enriched appreciation of technology, global business, cultural issues, and passion for their futures. ectalent aims to uniquely position interns to have greater success in their academic and subsequent professional careers.

What does ectalent provide?

Once we find the right opportunity for you and you pass the interviews with the client company, the client will instruct us to extend a job offer to you.. ectalent covers the following costs:

A monthly stipend (paid bi-monthly).

Health Insurance.

Fully-paid arrival housing for up to 30 days.

A housing allowance for the rest of your placement.

Paid travel costs, including flights and U.S. airport transportation to/from housing upon arrival/departure.

U.S. visa application costs.

Is there a cost to apply for the ectalent program?

None. You will have to pay a U.S. Embassy visa fee of about $160 which will be reimbursed to you against your receipt when you get to the U.S.

Do you only hire in Silicon Valley?

No. While most of our opportunities historically have revolved around opportunities with clients in Silicon Valley, we also place ECTs in other areas and states in the U.S. depending on client needs.

ectalent searches for outstanding international early-career talent candidates who want to come to the U.S. for a temporary period (12 or 18 months) to train, learn technologies, and experience U.S. culture. We do not recruit for permanent hire positions. After your J1 visa expires, you must leave the U.S. For over 20 years, more than 650 ECTs have reported our placements to be a life-changing experience.