Alternatives to the H-1B Visa: Bloomberg Study

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3 Copyright©2017 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. Timing for Evaluating Other Visa Options USCIS issues receipt notices for the selected petitions first, and then starts returning the petitions that were not selected in the lottery. As a general rule, the receipts are issued by the end of June, and at that time employers may start receiving the rejected petitions. Employers who haven't heard back by the end of June on their H-1B visa petitions should start looking for alternatives. H-1B Visa Alternatives This section highlights the various alternatives to the H1-B visa and is meant only as an overview. We recommend that employers seek advice from an experienced immigration attorney. F-1 OPT STEM Extension One of the most popular alternatives to the H-1B visa is the F-1 OPT STEM extension. This visa is an extension of the F-1 that allows a foreign national to study in the United States. The OPT (Optional Practical Training) STEM Extension is available for students in the science, technology, engineering, or math fields looking to extend their stay in the U.S. beyond the initial year of post-completion OPT. Often used as a plan B for individuals not selected in the H-1B cap, the F-1 OPT STEM extension adds two years of work authorization for students in science, tech, engineering, and math fields. Unlike many other visas, there is no cap on the number of visas awarded, and it's one of the few employment authorization document applications that allows the applicant to work while the application is pending. The student can work up to 180 days following the expiration of the OPT employment authorization, as long as the STEM extension application was filed before the end of the current OPT. Foreign nationals holding F-1 status, studying at a U.S. college or university in a STEM field with an OPT work authorization, are eligible. The employer must be enrolled in e-Verify to qualify for STEM OPT, and the employer must complete and submit a qualifying training plan with goals, details, and monitoring strategies for the F-1 employee to the student's Designated School Official (DSO). J-1 Visa The J-1 visa is perfect for individuals approved to participate in work- and study-based exchange visitor programs.

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