As many California businesses and foreign employees know, the government limits the number of H-1B visas it will approve each year. This year, approximately 148,000 H-1B applications were denied, leaving some believing they didn't have another alternative. There are several alternate types of employment visas that may be an option, however.
Through the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canadian and Mexican workers who qualify may be able to come to the country under trade NAFTA, or TN, visas. Canadians are allowed to apply at the U.S. port of entry, while Mexicans are required to apply at a U.S. Consulate. These visas are good for three years and then may be renewed for an additional three-year period.
E-1 and E-2 visas may provide another employment immigration avenue for foreign investors who wish to come to the U.S. for purposes of international trade or to invest large amounts of capital into a U.S. business. These visas are available to those who live in countries with which the U.S. has treaties in place. Australians who have a specialized occupation may be able to come to the U.S. for work with E-3 visas. Finally, specialized workers from Singapore and Chile may also do so with the H-1B1 program.
Those who have been denied H-1B visas may want to speak with employment immigration attorneys about their options. Attorneys may be able to check to see if another type of immigration visa is available for their clients. If there is, the attorney may then help complete the application. Legal counsel may also help their clients gather all of the documentation they will need to support it. If the petition is then denied, the attorney may then request that the decision maker reconsider the ruling, submitting additional documentation in support if needed.