Missed the H-1B lottery? Here are your options

Mumbai based attorney Sukanya Raman looks at some alternate visa routes to H-1B. 

Indians made up more than two thirds of nearly 275,000 cap-subject H-1B registrations submitted during the new H-1B electronic registration process introduced this year.

As always nationals of India followed by China were among the top applicants for the US work based visa this year, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

India (67.7%) and China (13.2%) together constituted nearly 81% of the registrations. As manny as 46% of applicants were prospective beneficiaries with US advanced degrees.

Registered applicants selected in the computer-generated lottery will receive a receipt notice from USCIS inviting them to submit a paper-based petition within 90 days.

As of now USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing service for H-1B cap petitions.

RELATED: H-1B cap of 65,000 reached; what next? (March 30, 2020)

However, being selected in the registration process does not imply that USCIS will issue an H-1B visa or would not send a Request for Evidence (RFE). It only confirms the eligibility to file an H-1B cap-subject petition.

However, if you are among those who were not selected in the lottery, don’t despair thinking that your immigration journey is over.

Mumbai based immigration attorney Sukanya Raman, an associate at Davies and Associates LLC lists some of the alternate immigration options.

EB-5 Visa: It is an immigrant investor program. Under this category, the investors are eligible to apply for Green Card by making an investment in the US along with creating or preserving permanent full- time jobs for qualified US workers.

E-1/E-2 Visa: E-1 is “Treaty Trader” visa whereas E-2 is “Treaty Investor” visa. These visas are issued to the national of a treaty country. It allows certain foreign nationals to either engage in substantial trade with the US or to invest a substantial amount of capital in a US business. These visas may serve for a number of years, unlike other non-immigrant visas.

E-2 Visa: It can be complementary to EB-5 visa. E-2 visa can be an option for investors and the family to live and work in American while waiting for green card.

L-1 Visa: This visa is issued to managers, executives, and professionals with specialized knowledge. It enables an employer to transfer their executive or manager level employees from a foreign office to a US office. It also enables a foreign company to send an executive or manager to the US to establish a new office.

O Visa: This visa is for people who are able to demonstrate an extraordinary ability in science, the arts, education, business, athletics, or film & television.

EB-1A & National Interest Waiver Visa: This visa is issued to Individuals who have achieved a certain level of success and recognition in their respective field may qualify for a merit-based visa. It does not require sponsorship from an employer.

E-3 Visa: This Visa is for Australian nationals who will be employed in a speciality occupation in the US with similar requirements to the H-1B visa.

TN Visa: This visa is for qualified nationals of Canada and Mexico. It permits nationals to seek temporary entry into the US to engage in business activities at a professional level.

H-3 Visa: This visa is issued to foreign nationals coming to the US for training or special education exchange visitors.


H4 visa: a primer (December 9, 2014)

USCIS reaches H-1B visa cap for 2018-2019 fiscal year (April 7, 2018)

H-1B visa cap reached for both 65,000 regular, 20,000 master’s exemption categories (April 7, 2017)

Anti-H-1B group sues the federal government to seek data from USCIS (April 20, 2018)

Trump administration may soon end H-4 Visa Rule: report (February 1, 2018)

Stronger economy may lead to more H-1B petitions (January 22, 2018)

Tech industry urges USCIS not to cancel H-4 spouses’ work permits (January 19, 2018)

Chuck Grassley again denounces H-1B visa program (January 18, 2018)

USCIS says it’s not ending H-1B visa extensions (January 9, 2018)

Proposed move to end H-1B extensions may affect up to 400,000 Indians in US (January 2, 2018)

DHS mulling major change to H-1B visa program (January 2, 2018)

Trump signs H-1B visa executive order ‘Buy American and Hire American’ (April 19, 2017)

Trump to sign executive order to overhaul H-1B visa program on Tuesday (April 18, 2017)

One Comment

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,
    Subject : Regarding work visa.

    I am Santhosh, from Bangalore INDIA.
    My interview was done with my employer from “New Jersey” U S, and I am selected for the post.
    The Employer is ready to sponsor a visa and wants to know what type of visa.

    Q : My employer is telling me to confirm which visa you intend to file for ?

    I am a skilled worker
    It’s an EB-3 visa or other visa.

    Phone No. +918073945160
    Email ID.: san2903s@gmail.com


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