Waiting to find out if your petition made it through the H-1B visa lottery can be nerve-wracking. But the good news is that for those petitioners who are not selected, you still have options.
Looking for the basics? Check out our “Ultimate guide to the H-1B visa and new H-1B spouse visa.”
7 alternatives to the H-1B visa
For those who lose out in the lottery, there are a number of possible of alternatives.
1. F-1 student visa
Current F-1 students should explore the possibility of continuing their studies, looking into internships, or taking advantage of possible off-campus employment. It is critical for F-1 students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) to avoid significant gaps in employment. Also, some STEM degree graduates may be able to seek a 17-month STEM extension of their OPT status, to bridge the gap caused by the H-1B cap. Learn more.
2. J-1 exchange visitor visa
3. TN professional visa for Canadians and Mexicans
5. B-1 visa
6. H-3 training visa
7. Diversity visa lottery
Finally, consider throwing your hat in for the 2016 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program lottery (yes, another lottery) that opens on May 5, 2015. Check out the FY 2016 instructions to learn which countries qualify. Learn more.
Learn more about H-1B visas
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Mike Allen is the founding attorney of Advenienz Legal PLLC and of counsel to Puget Sound Legal. Mike focuses on U.S. immigration law, with an emphasis on business immigration. He assists public and private growth companies and entrepreneurs with relocation strategies for bringing talented workers to the United States on a temporary and permanent basis.