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April 29, 2016


On April 12, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017.  USCIS then conducted a computer-generated random-selection lottery on April 9, 2016, to select the petitions to meet the 20,000 H-1Bs available under the advanced degree exemption and 65,000 for the general-category quota.

USCIS is currently sending Receipt Notices for petitions selected in the lottery based on premium processing, while rejecting and returning petitions, along with the associated filing fees that were not selected. USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases and petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master's degree or higher, no later than May 12, 2016. 

Potential applicants are often compelled to find alternative ways to live and work in the United States. Some of the options which may be available include the following, most of which do require a U.S. sponsoring company or institution:

  • TN Visa and E-3 Visa for Professionals form Canada, Mexico and Australia

  • E-1/E-2 Visa (for trader or investment if the foreign individual is a national of a designated treaty country)

  • H-1B1 (for nationals of Chile or Singapore)

  • H-3 Visa (to undertake job relating training)

  • R-1 Visa for religious workers

  • J-1 Visa (for individuals who can be categorized as an exchange visitor or intern under a cultural exchange program)

  • L -1 Visa (for intra-company transferees)

  • O Visa (for those who may qualify under extraordinary ability criteria in the arts, business and sports)

  • P Visa ( for Internationally Recognized Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers)

  • Q Visa (for those who may qualify under cultural exchange)

  • I Visa (for journalists)

  • F-1 Visa (for those currently in F-1 status, seeking  curricular practical training or optional practical training)

  • B-1 Visa in Lieu of H-1B  (for foreign nationals engaged in business) 

  • Another option would be the EB-5 investment green card involving an investment of a minimum $500,000 or more in a designated regional center

  • Employment-Based Green Card category for certain qualified applicants.   

We strongly urge you to arrange an appointment for a complete consultation to further discuss the foregoing visa alternatives and potential eligibility since each and every situation is unique.




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