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Not Selected in H1B Visa 2014 lottery – What are my options ? F1 Student, H4 ? International ?

As you know USCIS received about 124,000 petitions for H1B visa 2014 quota and there was lottery.  Some of you, who may be unlucky to be selected in lottery might be wondering what are my options to stay or work in America. There are a few scenarios like below, which are very common. Let me take some time to explain the options

  • I am on F1 Visa and working on OPT. My OPT expires by end of  2013, What are my options ?
  • I am studying on F1 Visa. Will graduate Spring 2013 or Summer 2013 ?  What can I do ?
  • I applied for Change of Status (COS) from H4 to H1B Visa ? What should I do to work ?
  • My company applied for H1B Visa from overseas, What can I do to work in America ?

F1 Visa and Working on OPT, which expires by end of 2013 or earlier – Options ?

Well, if you fall under STEM Degree Category and you have not used up your 17 month extension of OPT, you should go for the OPT extension. Your employer should be USCIS E-Verified to avail this option. This will help you work on OPT and be in status in America. You can apply for H1B Visa 2015 quota, which typically opens up in April 2014.

If you do NOT fall under STEM degree category, unfortunately, you are left with few options to stay in America.

  • You can apply for another degree either MS or MBA, but you will NOT get second OPT for 1 year.  Not sure, if it will add value to your career or pursue your passion, it just makes you stay in America and apply for H1B FY 2015 quota. Alternatively, you can also apply for PhD, which is quite a commitment, where you will get another one year OPT.  You have to remember, PhD can take about 3 to 5 years depending on your university. Pursuing PhD for the sake for status is not the best idea, you need to passionate about research.
  • You can find a public university or research institute that can sponsor your H1B visa. Higher education institutions are not governed by congressional H1B annual cap numbers.
  • You will have to leave the country after your OPT ends. Staying beyond your valid status in America can complicate your immigration history and you can end up in issues in future, if you would like to leave later and re-enter America.

Studying on F1 Visa. Graduating Spring or Summer 2013 – Options for H1B Visa ?

If you do some adjustments to your OPT start and end dates, you can stay in America and be eligible for H1B Visa FY 2015 to work in US.  USCIS provides an option called cap gap, that lets you work in America after your OPT expires and you have filed your H1B visa application for the upcoming fiscal year.  Essentially what it means is that if you file for your H1B visa for FY 2015 on April 1st and your OPT was valid at the time you apply for H1B Visa, you are good to work until the decision of your H1B petition. If your H1B is approved, you are fine to work until October 1st and your H1B status kicks in after October 1st.  You will have to stop working after October 1st, if you are still awaiting decision. Small catch is that your stay will be considered out of status, if your petition is rejected from April 1st until your petitions was adjudicated.  So, the summary is that make sure you can push your OPT start date as late as you can by talking to DSO at your school, so that you can apply for H1B Visa 2015 quota. If you are graduating in Summer 2013, you should be fine to have start OPT in August and you will be fine with cap gap as well.

H4 to H1B visa COS for FY 2014 – Not selected in Lottery. Options to work ?

Unfortunately, there is a very limited option. You would need to find a public university or education/ research institute that can file your H1B visa under cap exempt quota. It can be very hard, but that’s the truth.  You may also enroll in MS degree program, do a COS to F1 visa and avail the option of CPT and OPT, it depends on your passion to study MS.  If you just want to keep yourself engaged and not interested in monetary returns,  you can always do volunteering. One of my friends wife started with Volunteering for research at a University and eventually they filed for her H1B Visa petition.

Company Applied for H1B visa from Overseas – Not selected in Lottery , Options to work in USA ?

If your company is a global and have offices overseas and in America and they process L1 Visa, you may be eligible for L1A or L1B visa after completion of 1 year of work in your company. Again, it depends on the company you work for and their practices to do L1 visas, you would have to talk to them.  This is probably the best option for you to work in America.  If your company is NOT global and have only US presence, then your option is to apply for next  fiscal year 2015.

Marry American Citizen to Stay in America ?

Some may advice to Marry an American to stay in USA, because it is an option. But, it is NOT the right choice. You need to marry someone, if you fall in love with someone, not just because you want to stay in America. That’s wrong way to look at Life. You can always come back to America, if you have the skills and education, marrying someone for staying in America, is wrong thing to do.


Did I miss anything ?  What are the best options ?  Share your thoughts, ideas ?


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    • Am in waiting too. AD/PP/VSC. I am hearing that they will continue informing till Monday EOD. So another day but 2 excruciatingly long days in between.

      • AD/PP/VSC my employer says I am fine but not letting me know the receipt number… not sure if I received, but I am sure all the Masters students will get in.. Hope is the only thing we have.. we all will be fine.

  1. For PP guys, if they got selected they will notify Attorney the next day by e-mail.
    For non-PP guys, if they got selected they will use snail mail to notify so I think for non-pp guys probably will get their receipts next weeks (or the following next week).
    God luck to you all.

    • I found a way to override the mobile theme. Add “wptouch_switch=desktop” at the end of the url.
      e,g: http://redbus2us.com/uscis-received-124000-h1b-visa-2014-petitions-official-lottery-update-results/?wptouch_switch=desktop
      This shows the desktop version of the page.

    • Sourabh,

      The mobile theme is not helping us. When we try to click on right side updated comments its not pointing to comment and its difficult to trace the comment and further communication. Please fix this or remove this mobile theme temporarily. 🙂

  2. Guys how about petitions filed under regular quota without premium processing, when would USCIS start sending notifications to them, will it be from email or regular mail.

  3. My friend filed under AD-PP-VCS and he just got his receipt. there is hope guys.

    also for fragomen people. i have strong feelings that they’re not uploading your receipts right away.

    • My fragomen homepage doesn’t contain any place that has updates. It just has questionnaires. Where can I find my case status?

      • hi temp. i did not use fragomen. i just assumed that big law like fragomen has a portal (just like my attorney’s law firm). and that’s how i found out about my receipt, my attorney attached the receipt number to my personal portal/website.

        But i’m pretty sure that big law like fragomen submitted hundreds of applications. hence, the delay on the receipt forwarding. apparently uscis sent my receipt yesterday (i found out today around 6pm). so it’s most likely the law firm who hold the receipt.

    • Right I got an email like night 1.00 am on 9th regarding my approval. My Immigration page is not updated yet. Regular/CSC/PP – I will get my Masters next month though !

    • You will get it,
      I just saw a person with AD/PP/VT get approved.
      i guess its very time consuming to open each package, compare with lottery results and process your payment and then email. i dont think they can automate any of the stuff
      they emailed my attorney after 5PST from CSC, they are processing slowly.
      GodBless you.

  4. Есть тут кто из наших кто ждет оповещения, заи…ли эти индусы со своим ломанным английским! У меня регулар квота нон-премиум, вермонт

  5. IT Consultancies sending bulk applications have spoiled H1 visa process…

    Hope all Masters from US get through!!!!

    Goodluck to all and especially to all the Advance Degree holders from US!!!

  6. Hei GUys Any Master – CSC – Non PP people get their receipt yet.. This wait is killing me.. i am totally confused has CSC started sending receipts for Non PP yet…

    • it will take time, if they opened your package today, then they will snail mail you, which will take atleast 2days, so dont worry you will get it. CSC is processing all mixed and they are processing thousands of application. you have masters in US so you are above 95% chance.
      i got it today CSC/AD/PP. You will get it godbless you.

  7. Hi,
    we got the receipt number, but two days later. So please ask your attorney about it. They do not send it immediately. They do not know how we feel…

    best wish for all… hope everthing goes well…

  8. Admin , when i click on comments . it take me to different page . your site isn’t working properly.please fix it.


  9. guys you will never believe that, but out of 180k LCAs, at least 150k were taken by indian consulters. Those cockroaches should be punished somehow


  10. Just got my H1B approval notice from my Attorney.

    Hope every one gets it. Thank you so much for all the questions and answers you guys have been real help in this difficult time.


  11. Hi Friends,

    I got my receipt number from vermont center on Wednesday Apr 10, 8:30AM.
    Masters cap
    Premium processing

    Seems like they are releasing in batches, so I think by end of this week Masters PP cases should know the lottery result. Still many of my friends dint get email yet! But I am sure most of masters degree people will get through this….

    All the best to all of u.

  12. Prey For me……

    I am one of the worst H1b candidate who ever got issue since 2011.

    2010 – no job so started another program
    2011 – Client letter and everything – Quoto got over
    2012 – H1b approved from India but project got over
    2013 – Lottery no result so far.

    I am so worried and so tense…..

    • Dnt wrry..keep patience..and trust me you will get it.Hang in there…this time you will be lucky.

      God is always great.

    • Veer,
      When you say H-1 approved in 2012, then why are you going through the cap again? You are cap-exempt based on previous approval.

      • Saurabh,

        I talk to few of agent and non of them is sure whether i come under quota or CAP-Exempt. all of them need $$$$ to file my case and even though I do have ready job available from top-noach companies.

        after my OPT i went back to India and my h1b -2012 got approved for 3 years with top3 Indian IT firms. but due internal play i drop the job and came back to US on student visa (I never went for h1b stamping ) so i am not sure i will count under cap exempt or not.

        i have not received lottery result so far :(…..if you can help me out please let me know way……

        • If you H1 is approved when your are in India and did not use that H1 to enter United States your H1 is not counted.

          You are not CAP-Exempt and have to go thru the CAP.

  13. All, I was one among the worried one’s until 30 mins ago…Just heard the golden words from my employer and got the receipt number in the email. I am positive all AD will get thru..Just stay tuned, you will hear the news very soon !!

  14. Hello,

    I was hoping someone could clarify a question I had.

    My details:
    Graduate first Masters – Summer 2010
    OPT – June 2010 to June 2011
    STEM Extension OPT – June 2011 to Nov 2012

    But in Fall 2011 I enrolled back in school, as a result I used only about less than 15 months out of the 17 months of STEM OPT.

    Second Masters – Excepted graduation Spring 2014.

    Now, my question is can I apply for OPT and avail the 2 remaining months of my 17 month OPT. This is will not be a new OPT, because my education level is not higher than my previous degree. But I believe if one enrolls back in school, the OPT clock stops and can be retrieved later.

    Please advise


  15. march1612, I am SO happy for you. I know how worried you have been and I’m so glad it finally worked out. I am in regular processing, AD cap but I am really starting to get the feeling that most, if not all, AD petitions are put through. I told myself that this would be my conclusion if you got it.

    Congrats!!! Have some beers now. The rest of us will have to be patient

    • Thank you Dude.
      Do not worry you will get it.Hang in there….you will get thru it.

      All Masters will get thru belive me and dnt forget to post your status here…I will be happy to hear from you.

  16. My wife is on H4 visa here. Our consultant failed to send the H1B package within first week and is just saying sorry for that. This is despite we reminding him that this year could be a lottery and he needs to send the application early. We don’t know what to do, MS in this country is costly and most of the Fall deadlines have passed. I won’t get green card for 1 1/2 years.
    Any options? any jobs for engineers without visa?

    • Try to get an I 20 from any university take courses till 1 year ( cost $10000, you may find cheaper college) ,work on CPT and apply again.

    • are you serious u are worried because your wife cannot work.
      ppl here have masters degree from u.s. and they are not getting selected in the lottery and you want us to give u a solution for H4 – dude seriously.

      simple solution dont bring your wife’s on h4 from india and make this lottery happen, this is so unfair to us.

      • I simply don’t understand why do you consider yourself superior to someone else? A person on H4 deserves a visa as much as you do. Try to sit at home and do nothing for a year, then you will understand how the person on H4 feels. Please stop comparing who deserves more or less. Everyone wants to have a job and stay busy.

    • Just to give you a perspective, I did my MBA from one of top-tier B Schools here in North-East after spending $100K (cost of MBA from a top-tier program). And MBAs don’t have any OPT extension since MBA does not come under STEM….

      I was worried sick until I heard the good news yesterday…I seriosuly and sincerely hope that every single AD petition gets approved before the regular ones are even considered….

      I am an advocate of the ‘Theory of Free Markets’ but I have full sympathies with all those who have done Masters from U.S. (and especially so MBA because the tuition and fees are x3 as compared to an MS and also the fact that they don’t have 17-month extension)

      Consultancies have completely spoiled the H1 visa process….

      • I am also in the same situation..

        I left working for Microsoft in my county and came here to get my MBA.. cost of living and school was 130k. after graduation, hardly got a job… It was another big thing to convince my company to sponsor my visa..

        Submitten my application on Monday morning..

        regular quota/csc

        and if I don’t get this visa, I will loose my job, I will also need to leave the county.. after spending so much time, energy and effort in building a life here…

        Now everything is left to luck and I pray to god for that luck..

    • probly don’t apply for J1 if you’re planning to stay in the US. i believe that J1 will require you to stay in your home country for 2 years before changing your student status to H1 or greencard.

  17. Regular Cap
    Premium Processing
    Vermont Center

    Got my receipt number at 8:30 EST on wednesday. There is a high chance for everyone, don’t lose hope.

    • Hi Guy’s

      One of the first things the USCIS does after receiving a case is to process the filing fees. This is done electronically. Thus, employers may be able to confirm that their cases have been selected in the lottery by checking their bank accounts to see if the filing fee checks have been cashed. The USCIS does not cash the filing fee checks for the cases that have not been selected in the lottery.

      we have to check with employer for money encashed form his accounts


  18. Don’t loose hope Guys!!
    I was also one of you until I got email from attorney about 30 min. ago.
    My case AD, PP, VSC – Just got receipt no.
    Hope fully all OPT students get their H1-b, I have strong feeling that’s what USCIS also thinks.
    Talked with my attorney before they got email and they said they are receiving email at irregular interval…USCIS are opening up the packet one by one and sending email for PP candidates. Guys don’t loose hopes…This process may take up to a week to complete!!!
    All the best!! Prey Hard

    • Why do you want to fool someone?
      We face this kind of fate, when we have more people like you who wants to bend and fake 🙁
      Just be honest and you will be fine.
      I have two kids and wife back at home and don’t have MC to bring them here. But I explained and produced a letter from the head of the village, stating that m married with two kids. That sufficed. If you are genuinely married, tell the truth and you won’t have problem. But if you are faking to marry someone to stay here, keep it within yourself, we don’t want to know.

  19. Those who have done Masters in the USA , on OPT and get rejected in the lottery , try applying for jobs in another country .For example , search for positions in Australia,Singapore and some Middle Eastern countries(preferably last). I know it is a pain to move countries , but you never know what opportunity lies for you there. And if you are from India , Singapore and the Middle East are a just a few hours away from home :-).

    All the best guys !

    • good idea dude 🙂
      But some of us are eligible for green card too, especially if you don’t have more than 50k people from your country working in US, it won’t take that long. I saw some of my friend got GC within six months.
      Also, we can apply to non profit organizations too or go back to school and eat top roman again. damn! I don’t want to think. It gives me a like a pressure cooker atmosphere.

  20. Hi everyone,

    My employer that he received my WAC number in the evening from the attorney. My case regular cap,CSC , pp filed by the employer.

    All the best everyone. I understand how stressful this can be. Have faith and believe in god.

    • RK, seems like there is a typo error in your statement. Assuming your L1 got rejected in Oct 2012 & if the reason is not permanent rejection, your employer can always apply again.

  21. Shouldn’t the following be:

    Some of you, who may be unlucky to be selected in lottery might be wondering what are my options to stay or work in America.

    a “not”

  22. Mine is masters quota premium processing.. I didn’t get any results today.. Can I expect results tomorrow ? Feeling soo much tense .. Give me reply..

  23. we already know all this stuff and all the options to stay in the country.
    The main concern here is why should I ?

    Y should i give more money to U.S.
    I paid 36000$ for my M.S., + 1225$ for premium processing and the cost of living in U.S. is too high.
    Why shud I do another Masters and waste more money dosent make sense it would take me couple of more years to get the money back which I invested in second masters, please provide a better solution.

    • Hi Rutul,

      If you commenting here on this wensite, means that you have an interest in staying in the United States. And yes, its true that you will have to make an investment but the dividends are rich. And since you’ve already done masters so if you don’t stay in the US, in India you’ll probably require 5-7 years to pay back the loans you have taken.

      So think wisely, a second masters may not really be that bad. You can join a state univ where you fee would be lesser and you can get a TA position based on your earlier masters credentials.

    • Look for better opportunity in Canda/australia/singapore/middle east/ germany/uk….. There are chances of getting much better life then struggling in US.

      US immigration is not in our hand and this is not our country so we cant expect to have immigration reform in our favor. Which is pretty fair, they need us to boost their economy, they cant import entire India here.

      All we can do is try the best, if things are not in our hands whats the point crying over it. But I agree no point of wasting money on second masters if you dont want to do it for study rather other purposes. I am in this country since 6 years and been through a lot and I wonder the same what was the point of such hardship. Thankfully after so many problems I finally see a hope and went through this time atleast got selected in lottery. This was my last shot and I might have gone back gladly. Our country is not saying NO to us atleast!

      Just be satisfied with whatever you get, life will be much more easier…

      Sorry, i am writing through experience, it might not sound right but for me it does!

  24. Another option to stay in US is to serve in the military 4 years with MAVNI program. It is a program that let foreign national with certain languages or medical expert to join US army with a benefit of expedited naturalization process in only 6 months. You will get citizenship in 6 months right after BCT (Basic Combat Training) graduation. There is a lot of misconception about this because when people think about army, they are thinking about fighting in the front line and getting killed. That is wrong, because there are hundreds of different jobs in army, anything you can think of including IT job and finance.

    I had double degree in Accounting and Finance and I am planning to join US Army as Financial Management Technician. As a Bachelor’s holder, I will get a Corporal/Specialist rank right away with $2,000 wage/ month tax free. I know it is not that much but you will also get free education with GI bill after the service. GI Bill will pay 100% of your education after service (or during) + $2,000/month for living cost. Not to mention free cost of living and food (well you live in the barrack). I am planning to get my MBA in UT Austin after my service and pursue a career in FBI as a white collar investigator after getting my CPA and MBA.

    Well I know this might not be related to you all, but I am just sharing because I think this is also an option. A great way to stay in a country I love by serving in the military.

    In case any of you are interested, you can visit MAVNI.INFO , or just google “mavni” to find out more.

    • Guys, I tried this Mavni Program….. they said in 10 weeks we will get US Passport. for this you need to be in US for 2 yrs(when i tried i dint completed 2 yrs)… only then you can apply for this.. most of the desk job would need security clearance.. which would come in 2 yrs… till that time.. there is a possibilities of Combat field work….

      • 2341733,

        You are right about 2 years requirement to be in US in order to be eligible, most of us who apply fall in F-1, OPT, or H1B visa.

        However it is not true that most desk jobs require secret clearance. You have to speak with the recruiter for more detail. One thing to point out: when you sign a contract for the specific job it is a done deal and you have to do it for 4 years w/ no guarantee of changing your job. Or once you becomes a citizen in 2 years you may apply to be an Officer.

        And for those whom language cap have been reached (Hindi, Swahili, Nepalese,Korean, and Chinese), army will probably open new application on oct 1 2012 just fyi

    • No offense to anyone particular, I find it bizarrely surprising that how people are willing to do anything to stay in this country. US Army? really?! Am not that much patriotic, but I feel it as a disgrace to work in another country’s army. Total let down to our nation and your family ancestors.

      • That will depend on the history and background of each person. For me, I was a minority in my own country. My parents were immigrant from another country before they came to my home country. I faced a lot of racist verbal abuse and discrimination when I was little just because of my skin color. Well for me, living in the USA , the melting port of every kind of people, is my dream since a long time ago. And for me, this is my home and I am willing to serve in the army and risk my life to protect the freedom of this country.

      • For some people this country is all they know. They have stayed here legally, making sure that their paperwork is in order through every step of the way. For someone like me, I have been kicked off of my parents GC application because I am “too old.” However, living in this country is all I know. Due to unforseen circumstances, it takes longer for someone people to go through the GC process than others. So, please do me a favor and don’t pass a generalized statement about someone possibly serving in another country’s army. I see nothing wrong with that if you are GENUINE about serving in it.

        As far as our (anyone who thinks about serving in their non-native country) ancestors go, they see the struggle that these people have put in. Do you think it is fair to put in years and years of struggle, effort, blood, tears, suffering, planning, etc to get NOWHERE? Really? Think about that for a minute? The ancestors you are talking about also contain the people who fought for us to have a better future. Whatever/wherever it may be and whatever WE may choose for it to be. Who are you to question that?

        If this is the only option remaining to live a life I know, I will take it. YOU have no right to question me or anyone else about that.

  25. How is the 1 year requirement defined for the L1-B visa? I worked for my company for 52 weeks but 4 days short of 365 days. Would I qualify?

  26. Hi.. I have L1B visa till Oct 2013 and my company has applied for H1B visa. If my H1B application is not selected for 2014 lottery, then is there an option for my company to apply for L1B extension. If so, what is the timeline for applying for L1B extension?

    • Ashok, L1B extension can be applied as early as six months. In 2010 I had my colleague apply extension even 10-15 days prior the expiration date, the surprising part was my colleague entered US with less than 30 days validity of L1 & was neither questioned at port of entry. Also you can apply for fresh L1 after expiry date if you had been outside of US for 1+ year or have not completed 5 years in total in US.


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