Last Updated on November 27, 2023
Every year in March, USCIS typically begins accepting petitions for the H-1B visa lottery. The H-1B lottery is competitive and limited by a cap, which means employees may not be selected. If that happens, you may still have other options available for a visa.
Here are some common H-1B alternatives that employees may be eligible for.
H-1B Petition Denied? Consider These H-1B Alternatives
There are a host of H-1B alternatives to choose from, and most depend on the country of origin or the nature of the position in the U.S. Here are some of the best alternatives to the H-1B visa:
The TN visa is valid for eligible Canadian and Mexican nationals, per the NAFTA treaty between the three North American countries. There is no annual cap and no restrictions on when you can apply. More on the TN visa here.
The E-2 visa is great for managers and supervisors who share nationality with their company, per the terms of the E-2 treaty between the United States and select countries. Some eligible countries include Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Egypt, France and Germany. More on eligible countries and details about the E-2 visa here.
The E-3 visa is available to Australian citizens in specialty occupations, meaning the position must require a specific skill set and specialized knowledge. More on the E-3 visa here.
The L-1 visa is available for intracompany transfers for key employees abroad. Some executives, managers or those with specialized knowledge are eligible to apply. More on the L-1 visa here.
The H-1B1 visa is available to citizens of Singapore or Chile who are in specialty occupations. The H-1B1 is typically valid for one year at a time. More on the H-1B1 visa here.
F-1 OPT STEM Extension
The F-1 OPT STEM extension can be a great bridge to keep employees in the U.S. until the next H-1B visa cap season. Students who are already on the F-1 visa with OPT in STEM fields can apply for the extension, which is typically valid for 12 months.
Want to learn more? Take a look at our complete H-1B alternatives guide to explore your options in depth.