Five H-1B visa alternatives you can fall back on

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

The US govt has started tightening the criteria for H-1B approval. The US visa agency receives an overwhelming number of H-1B applications each year. With the Trump administration’s agenda for skilled immigrants, getting H-1B visa has become much more difficult.Many employers and their prospective employees are unable to take advantage of the H-1B program due to the new rules. There are some of the most common H-1B visa alternatives that you can explore. Here are top 5 temporary visas that can help you enter the United States for work.

1. F-1 visa - OPT provision

This is the most popular visa among students and can help you take an admission in a US-based university. The foreign students in the US universities can avoid the significant gaps in employment by exploring Optional Practical Training (OPT). STEM degree graduates can seek a 17-month extension of their OPT status and bridge the gap caused by the H-1B cap.

2. J-1 exchange visitor visa

J-1 exchange visa is an option for students that receive sponsorship to participate in cultural or educational programs in the US. The non-immigrant visa is issued to research scholars, professors and exchange visitors to promote cultural exchange. Students can take advantage of this provision to obtain medical or business training program in the US universities.

3. L-1A, L-1B visa

L1 visa is an intracompany transfer visa that allows companies to transfer employees with the purpose of developing operations by opening a new branch, subsidiary or affiliate office. L-1 eligible employees may obtain one of the two L1 visa categories. L1A visa category is for managers and executives while the L1B visa type is for professionals with specialized knowledge. L1-A visa is granted for a period of 1 year for new, startup companies and 3 years for existing companies. Employees may be granted an extension of 2-year increments for up to 7 years.

4. O-1 visa

O-1 is a visa category open for people with extraordinary capabilities in arts, sciences, education, athletics and business. The visa is usually issued for 3 years and an extension can be granted in one year extensions. 

5. H-3 training visa

H-3 is a non-immigrant visa category that allows foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States either as a trainee or a special education exchange visitor. H-3 trainee must be invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training in any field. If the period mentioned in the application is approved, the trainee may be allowed to stay in the United States for up to 2 years.

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