If You Didn’t Make the H-1B Visa Cut, What are Your Options?

In a previous blog, the immigration attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt and Palumbo in New Jersey discussed that the petitions for H-1B visas far outnumber the amount of H-1B visas that are actually issued. Petitions for this year totaled 172,000 and the cap is 65,000.

The lottery has been filled and now the waiting game begins. Who will get the coveted visas and who will not? What we can say for certain is that a majority of foreign nationals who applied for H-1B visas will not get them.

So, what are your alternatives if you are one of the many whose names did not come up as a lottery winner?

There are still options. For instance, there a few different categories of cap-exempt H-1B visas, including the category for foreign nationals who have (or are hoping to have) job offers from an institution of higher education or from a nonprofit/government research organization.

To get an H-1B in this category, it is not necessary that the above institutions actually employ the foreign national. The prospective employee can be entitled to a visa if the foreign national’s employer requires that he or she perform a majority of his or her work at a qualifying institution.

For instance, if an information technology company has contracts with a U.S. university for hiring and placing IT consultants, then the foreign nationals they hire may be H-1B cap exempt if he or she will primarily be working on projects that benefit the university. Even though the employee may not be a direct employee of the university, he or she may still be considered exempt.

If the prospective worker is Canadian or Mexican he or she may consider TN classification. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) citizens of Canada and Mexico may seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level. Those professions include accountants, engineers, pharmacists, scientists and teachers.

Just because a prospective employee’s H1-B bid has been rejected, it doesn’t mean all is lost. There are many other options you might consider to realize your goals. That is why it is important that you consult with the immigration attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt and Palumbo if you have questions or concerns about immigration issues. Call us at (888) 847-2529 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.