Employee wasn’t selected in the H1B Visa Lottery. Now What?
Each year many are left out of the H1B visa process when they are not selected in the H1B Visa lottery. Even if your employee wasn’t selected in the H1B Visa lottery, there still might be hope. There are several options to consider when the H1B visa lottery fails. Here are some common alternatives to the H1 Visa:
- International students who graduate from a U.S. post-secondary institution may be eligible for a 12-month period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) and employment in a field related to their degree. Those who have graduated with a degree in a STEM field may extend the initial period of OPT for an additional 24 months. Students still enrolled in school may qualify for employment authorization through a period of Curricular Practical Training (CPT). Qualifying students should coordinate with their school’s Designated School Official to seek OPT or CPT work authorization.
Work Visas Based on Nationality
- H-1B1 visas are available to citizens of Chile and Singapore. The requirements for the category are similar to an H-1B.
- E-3 visas are granted only to citizens of Australia who will work in specialty occupations.
- TN employment sponsorship is an option for citizens of Mexico and Canada, who are coming to the United States to perform work in certain “Professional Occupations.
Treaty Traders and Treaty Investors
Nationals of certain countries party to a qualifying treaty with the United States may receive an E-2 visa if the individual or their company invests a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise. Certain essential employees of a company with the same nationality may also qualify for an E-2 visa.
The E-1 visa category is appropriate for citizens of qualifying treaty countries who are coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade in goods, services, or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country.
International Entrepreneurs May Have an Option for “Parole” into the United States
The International Entrepreneur Rule allows lawful entry into the United States and work authorization for employees/part owners of certain start-up companies that have received qualifying investments or grants.
Visas for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
The O-1A category is for individuals with extraordinary ability in science, business, education, or athletics based on demonstrated sustained national or international acclaim.
The O-1B category is open to individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, or achievement in the motion picture/television industry, demonstrated by meeting certain criteria.
If none of the nonimmigrant options is a good fit, the best route to employing a foreign national might be an immigrant petition filed by a prospective employer or self-petitioned by the individual. If sponsored by an employer, it may be necessary to first request certification from DOL.