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H-1B Lottery Not Selected – Options?


The 2014 cap for H-1B visas lottery quota has been met by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and employers that filed petitions has started receiving that inevitable brown envelope with bad news in early June.

So, what now if you are not one of the 85,000 selected?

Here are your options:-

1. F-1 Visa

The F-1 Visa does depend on your personal circumstances, as you may be entitled to extra practical training that will offer you an opportunity to carry on working in the US with a student status. However, if you cannot bear opening another text book, you may apply to extend your employment authorization for 17 months.

2. 17 Month OPT – STEM Category Degree

If you already hold a degree in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), you may be entitled to another 17 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT). Make an appointment with your employer to discuss this option, they may be able to help with an OPT extension.

Before you make that appointment, check if your employer is “e-Verified” as this is a required stipulation.

Link to check for E-verify:


3. Find a Job in Non-Profit Organization.

In case, if you were not aware of this, Non Profit Organizations like universities and research institutes are notincluded in the annual H-1B cap. So get a job in a Non-Profit Organization.

Here’s a link for non-profit organizations, there are plenty in here.

4. The Highly Esteemed O-1 Visa

If you are a monumental genius and at the top of your field/profession, with outstanding achievements, educational accolades, do try applying for this visa.

If your wall is graced of you in snapshots with famous people receiving one of your many medals, you may just be what the US are looking for presently. Try it, you never know

For More Information on O-1 visa: 


5. Work Visas for Specific Countries:

Also, there are options similar to a H-1B but it is specific to the applicant’s citizenship.

·         If you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico, you may be eligible for what is known as a TN Visa. This Visa is related to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

·         If you are a citizen of Singapore or Chile, you are entitled to apply for the H-1B1 visa which has its own separate quota for the otherwise general H-1B limits.

·         If you are a citizen of Australia, you are entitled to apply for the E visa.


6. Investment & Trade in USA – E-1 or E-2 Visa

The E-1 and E-2 visas are for professional or business people that have or would like to secure investments or trade in the US. The companies have to meet strict criteria’s or if they are citizens of countries that already have in place trade or treaty agreements with the US.

7. Return to Home Country.

Find a job in your home country and return. You can apply for H-1B next year through a different employer.