Now that the H-1B cap case selection process has concluded, can companies still hire foreign national candidates who aren’t already in H-1B status? Obviously most employers know about hiring F-1 (foreign students), but below are some less common options:
- L-1: U.S. companies that have a foreign parent, subsidiary or affiliate, may transfer employees who have worked at the foreign office for at least one consecutive year in either a specialized knowledge or management/executive position.
- L and E status dependents: Spouses of employees in L-1 or E status qualify for Employment Authorization Document (EAD card).
- TN: North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to engage in prearranged activities with a U.S. employer. TN is only available for certain occupations.
- H-1B1: Citizens of Chile or Singapore may qualify for H-1B1, which is very similar to H-1B.
- E-3: Citizens of Australia may qualify for E-3, which is very similar to H-1B.
- J-1: Recent graduates from a college abroad may qualify for J-1 visa to assume intern position or short-term employment in the U.S.
Additionally, E-1/E-2 may be an option for citizens of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The E-1/E-2 would need to invest and start a company in the U.S., or assume an essential position at a U.S. company in which the foreign company you work for substantially invested in. So, this option is not for most employer sponsors.