The H-1B application filed on your behalf was not selected in the lottery - Now what?

Once USCIS has completed the random selection process for H-1B applications and has receipted the selected applications, they begin to return the applications that were not selected. If you are in F-1 OPT status and your sponsoring company's checks were not cashed and your SEVIS record has not changed, then it is probably time to figure out your best options forward.

First, you have a 60 day grace period after the end of your OPT (this only applies if you have completed OPT. If you are on post-completion OPT and have accrued more than 90 days of unemployment, you are considered out of status and are not eligible for the 60-day grace period). During this grace period you can wrap up your life in the US and return home or you can identify an alternate immigration strategy based on your goals and eligibility.

For companies that have foreign offices, one option may be the H-3 Training Status. However, keep in mind that the H-3 is NOT a replacement status for H-1B. The H-3 provides for trainee status and the beneficiary is eligible for it if and only if he/she will go and work for the company abroad after the H-3 traineeship has ended. So, this option could further enhance your US training and experience, but is not appropriate if you intend to work in the US short or long term.

Another option may be the J-1 intern status option. Again, this option may be appropriate if you would like to further enhance your US training and experience but is not intended as a long term solution nor does it provide you with status to perform "work". Furthermore, Dept. of State approved Sponsoring Organizations most often do not allow for change of status to J-1, so you would have to depart back to your home country for visa processing. They also often times do not allow for J-1 status after OPT as this signals the intention that you wish to work in the traditional employment sense rather than to obtain training.

Finally, perhaps this is a good opportunity for you to obtain another advanced degree (a Master's degree in your field, for example). If so, you can continue on in F-1 status.

Of course, while not mentioned here, there may be other options such as the O-1 or family based categories based on your unique circumstances. Your immigration counsel may be able to identify one of these options for you upon a careful review of your immigration situation.

This information is not intended as and nor should be construed as legal advice. Neither of these options is intended to replace the purpose and function of H-1B specialty occupation status. To discuss your particular case and options, please contact us via the "Book Online" link.



This website constitutes attorney advertising. The information provided is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice.


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