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H-1B Petition Denied: Now What?


On April 2, USCIS began accepting petitions for the H-1B visa lottery, and if last year is any indication of the time it will take to close, it should be around five days. If an H-1B petition is denied, you may be wondering what the H-1B alternatives are in case your petition isn’t accepted.

H-1B petition denied? Here are your H-1B alternatives

H-1B application denied? Here are your 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:

TN 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 even more? Take a look at our complete H-1B alternatives guide to explore your options in depth.