More on H-1B and Alternatives – Questions and Answers

Are there any jobs that are exempt from the H-1B Cap?

Yes. Jobs at institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations associated with a government entity or institution of higher education are exempt from the cap.

Do certain countries have special visas?

Yes. Singapore and Chile each have a portion of the H-1B Visa cap reserved for them: 5,400 for Singapore and 1,400 for Chile; this is called the H-1B1 visa. Also, as part of NAFTA, Canada and Mexico have a special category: the TN Visa. Also, Australia has the E-3 Visa.

What is the O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa?

This visa is similar to the EB-11 Application, which can lead to a Green Card, but the O-1 is nonimmigrant. Therefore, it is a little easier to attain. It is designed for people who stand out in their chosen field, meaning that they have won a lot of awards and recognition are particularly skilled.

Are there any Visas for Trade or Investment?

Yes. These are the E-1 and E-2 Visas. Certain countries have a trade treaty with the United States that are meant to encourage investment and trade in the United States and allow foreign employees to work here. This is different from the L-1 Visa, which is designed for foreign companies with branches in the United States.

Can you explain the J-1 Exchange Visa?

J-1 Visas are designed to promote cultural exchange, such as Au-Pair programs and certain forms of education.

Can I go to school on any of these Visas?

Unless you have an F-1 Student Visa, you should not go to an accredited degree university. You can take English classes, for example, but not go to a university.