This year USCIS received approximately 172,000 applications for 85,000 H-1B visas (65,000 in the Bachelor’s cap and 25,000 in the Master’s cap). Needless to say, the H-1B category is terribly oversubscribed and H-1B applicants not selected in the lottery are often left scrambling to find a suitable option to maintain lawful status in the United States.
Employers should keep in mind the various options if an intended H-1B employee was not selected in the lottery, including:
-E-1 Treaty Trader;
-E-2 Treaty Investor;
-E-3 for Australian Citizens;
-TN for Mexican and Canadian citizens;
-H-1B1 for Singaporean/Chilean citizens;
-L-1 Intra-company transfers; and
-O-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability;
among others. Each of these categories provides the ability for foreign nationals to work in the United States with each having different criteria to be met. It’s important that employers understand that although their intended H-1B employee was not selected in the H-1B lottery there are plenty of other options available.