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Lost The H-1B Lottery? Visa Options For Employers Wishing To Hire Or Retain Professional Employees

Barnes & Thornburg LLP


Employers wishing to hire or retain foreign national employees in need of visa sponsorship have traditionally used the H-1B category, which allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Unfortunately, many employers are subject to an annual cap of 85,000 new H-1B visas, with 20,000 reserved for foreign nationals holding advanced degrees from U.S. colleges and universities.

In recent years, USCIS has received hundreds of thousands of H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap, forcing immigration to conduct a lottery to select petitions for processing. If your H-1B petition was not selected in this year’s lottery, there may be options available to hire or retain professional employees to include:

  • Cap-exempt H-1B visas
  • TN visas
  • H-1B1 visas
  • E-1 and E-2 visas
  • E- 3 visas
  • L visas
  • OPT, STEM OPT, and CPT for foreign students
  • Sponsorship for permanent residency

1.0 hour CLE credit pending. This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® and HRCI credit


16 May 2019