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Lost the H-1B Visa Lottery? There May Be Other Visa Options Available to You.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa to the United States for professionals and individuals with “specialty occupations” requiring a bachelor’s degree. A “specialized occupation” requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. Examples of “specialty occupations” include engineers, physicians, accountants, teachers and others. April 1st is the earliest date to file cap-subject petitions. The USCIS received 172, 500 cap-subject H-1B visa petitions during the first week of April, 2014. For the first time since Congress imposed an arbitrary numerical cap on H-1B petitions in the early 1990s, there were more losers than winners in this year’s lottery. Given that the cap is presently set at 85,000 (65,000 H-1B regular cap and 20,000 H-1B master’s exemption), there are a total of 87,500 individuals who will not be able to work in H-1B status for the companies which sponsored them.

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