Not selected in the H-1B lottery? Other work visas for professionals to consider

Employers and foreign nationals disappointed in this year's H-1B lottery results may want to consider other work visa options.  A few possibilities that are not subject to annual quotas include:

  • Cap-exempt H-1B visas - available where the beneficiary will be employed at an institution of higher education (even in some cases with a private company who maintains space on a college or university campus), a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization, or concurrently employed by both a cap-exempt employer and a private, otherwise cap-subject employer;
  • TN visas - available to nationals of Canada and Mexico;
  • E-3 visas - available to nationals of Australia;
  • H-1B1 visas - available for nationals of Chile and Singapore (subject to a quota but that quota is rarely met);
  • E visas - E-1 treaty trader and E-2 treaty investor visas are available for nationals of a number of countries (full list here);
  • F-1 student visas - F-1 students with a degree in a STEM field may be eligible under the new STEM OPT rules that permit work authorization for up to 3 years following graduation;
  • J-1 visas - available for interns or trainees in a variety of work categories if sponsored by a qualified J-1 entity, including umbrella sponsorship agencies;
  • L-1 visas - available to managers, executives or those with specialized knowledge who have worked abroad for at least 1 year within the past 3 years for a company abroad related as a parent, branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of a U.S. company;
  • O-1 visas - available for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

Please contact the attorneys at Iandoli Desai & Cronin at to discuss these and other options for your professional employees.