Missed The H-1B Cap? Here Are Some H-1B Visa Alternatives

USCIS has announced that it has completed the data entry for all FY 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the H-1B lottery. As of today, if you have not yet received an I-797 Receipt Notice and if the filing fee checks submitted by your employer have not been cashed, it is unlikely that your H-1B cap petition was selected in the lottery this year.

If the H-1B cap-petition filed on your behalf was not selected in the FY 2019 H-1B lottery, a new H-1B cap-petition cannot be filed until April 1, 2019. This would push your H-1B start date to October 1, 2019!

So, are there any alternate U.S. visa options you can pursue to be able to come and work in the U.S.? Below are a few:

  • If you are currently working in the U.S. under F-1 OPT, and are eligible for a STEM OPT extension, don’t delay your OPT extension filing. Secure the STEM OPT so you can continue working in the U.S. until at least the next H-1B cap-filing season.
  • If you are a manager, executive or an employee with specialized knowledge working for an organization outside the U.S. with a related entity in the U.S. (parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate), you and your employer can explore the L-1 visa to come to the U.S. and work for the related entity in the U.S.
  • If you are a national of Chile or Singapore, the H-1B1 visa category, which is very similar to the H-1B and is available only to Chileans and Singaporeans, could be an appropriate H-1B alternative.
  • If you are a national of Australian, the E-3 visa category, which is very similar to the H-1B and is only available to Australians, could be an appropriate H-1B alternative.
  • If you are a recent graduate or want to come to the U.S. simply to gain experience in your field, the J-1 Trainee or Intern visa may be an option.
  • If you are an “extraordinary” artist, entertainer, athlete, scientist, researcher, educator, or businessperson, the O-1 visa may be right for you.
  • If you want to enter the U.S. to receive training that is generally not available in your country of residence, an H-3 visa may be a suitable option.
  • Applying directly for a Green Card is an option that is often overlooked. With proper planning, it should be possible for many employers and employees to use the Green Card process as an effective H-1B alternative.

VisaPro specializes in developing customized strategies once H-1B Cap is reached. If your H-1B cap petition has not been selected in the FY 2019 H-1B lottery, and you wish to develop customized strategies in your situation, please contact the VisaPro Law Firm today for a FREE H1B Alternatives Consultation. We’ll talk through your priorities and recommend strategies based on our attorneys’ near 100% success rate.

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