H-1 B’s – All Gone. Consider other options…
USCIS received about nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 13, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.
In the near future many petitioners will be notified that their H-1B petitions were not selected for inclusion in the H-1B quota.
Here are some possible alternatives for some people, who do not qualify for H-1B status.
- TN Visa.
This option is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens, who have occupations or qualifications listed in the NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement)
A list of these occupations can be found at:
- Extraordinary Ability
Extraordinary ability the areas of science, art, education, business and athletics can lead to an O-1 visa. It would also include aliens, who have demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry.
- Investment or Purchase of a Business.
The Treaty Investor visa (E-2 visa) is available to citizens of many countries.
This requires a “substantial investment” in a trading business. An investment in real estate will not suffice, unless it is a hotel or other trading entity.
The amount of the required investment is not stated as a dollar amount, but depends on the type of business.
A business that requires significant equipment and/or inventory will require a greater investment than a service-type business that does not require equipment or inventory.
- Intra company transferees (L-1 Visa)
If an employee is currently employed by a multinational company as a manager or someone with specialized skills, the employer may consider transferring the employee to a branch office in another country for a year. The employee may then qualify to return as an intra-company transferee. In any event the employer could petition again for an H-1B visa next year
- Religious Professionals (R-1 visa)
Some religious occupations are performed by professionals. The occupation must a traditional religious function and not merely an administrative position in a church, synagogue, mosque or temple.
Some students may consider continuing with their studies, until the next lottery.
Attaining a Master’s or PhD degree from a U.S. university will give the student a double chance of being selected in the H-1B lottery next year. Firstly, they are in the lottery for the U.S. advanced degree exemption and if they are not selected in that lottery they are placed in the general H-1B lottery.