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Weren’t Selected in the H-1B Lottery? Consider These Alternatives

Each year, tens of thousands of applicants are not chosen in the annual H-1B lottery. There are 65,000 visa spots available for applicants with a bachelor’s degree, and an additional 20,000 visas for the master’s cap, giving individuals with advanced U.S. degrees two chances for a selection. If you were not selected in the 2022 H-1B lottery, you still have options to work and live in the United States.

Here are 5 visa alternatives if you weren’t picked in this year’s lottery.

5 H-1B Visa Alternatives


To attract more nonimmigrant students to U.S. universities and employers, more F-1 visa students earning bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in certain STEM fields will be able to remain in the U.S. for up to 36 months to work in their field of study. The Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program allows noncitizens who are in the United States on an F-1 student visa to work in the U.S. for up to three years if they meet eligibility requirements.

2. H-4 Visa

An H-4 visa is a nonimmigrant, temporary visa Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for spouses and minor children of H visa holders, including H-1B high-skilled workers and H-2A and H-2B for agricultural and nonagricultural seasonal workers. In reality, the vast majority of H-4 visa holders are professional, degree women married to H-1B holders.

3. Employment with H1B Cap-Exempt Employer

The annual cap on H-1B visas does not apply to qualifying employers who are not subject to the annual H-1B quota, such as H1B institutions of higher education and related nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations and governmental research organizations.

4. O-1A Visa

An O-1 visa allows someone with extraordinary abilities to temporarily enter the United States for work purposes. New guidance on O-1A visas supports individuals with extraordinary ability visa, particularly in the STEM fields.

5. L-1A Intracompany Transfer

The L-1A nonimmigrant classification enables a foreign employer with U.S. offices to transfer an executive or manager to a work at an American location.

Despite the high demand, many foreign nationals look to an H-1B visa to temporarily live and work in the United States. There are alternative visa options to consider if the H-1B visa is not available to you. An experienced immigration attorney can review your qualifications, and help you identify the best opportunity for you to live and work in America.

Cook and DuPage and County Immigration Lawyer

An immigration lawyer works with individuals who want to come to the United States to live and work temporarily or permanently. Contact Godoy Law Office at 630-912-0322. Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will and Lake Counties.

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