What are my options if I’m not selected in the H1B lottery?

Authored By admin

May 2, 2021

Usually, about 85,000 cap-subject H1B petitions are made available every fiscal year, including 20,000 H1Bs for students and 65,000 regular H1Bs. Owing to the huge demand, an annual lottery is held for the entire lot. 

In the event where you are not selected in the H1B lottery, you can try either of the following options provided below. 

Transferring to a different program of study

If you are a full-time student approaching the end of your F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) or a 2-year STEM OPT student in the science, engineering, technology or mathematics field, you can transfer to a different program of study. Occasionally, an individual can benefit by pursuing employment authorization based on CPT. Given this scenario, an F-1 student would be eligible for CPT provided all the requirements are met. 

Employment opportunities with H1B Cap-Exempt employers

The annual H1B limit does not apply to certain employers like institutions, affiliated nonprofit entities, government-run research entities and non-profit research organizations. You get an exclusive pass if you are working for these entities. 

Countries holding certain treaties with the U.S.

You may be spared from the lottery if you are a citizen of countries like Mexico, Singapore, Canada, Australia, and Chile. 

Working remotely

In the event where you are not selected in the H1B lottery or do not fit under the above-provided options, as a last resort, you can continue your employment with a U.S. employer by working remotely. This is one of the best options for F-1 students who are not selected in the lottery but have exhausted their OPT.


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