What to do if my H-1B registration was not selected?

On March 30, 2021, the USCIS completed the H-1B lottery and announced that it received enough H-1B registrations to reach H-1B cap for the fiscal year 2022. What options do you have if you were not amount those who were selected?

First of all, you are eligible for selection in any subsequent selection for FY 2022. For example, some selected registrants may not file their petitions.

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for other types of visas or status. Your employer may file for your employment-based green card (permanent legal resident status) if he can show that there are no U.S. workers available, willing and qualified for the job. Certain professionals from Mexico or Canada may qualify for TN visa. If you are the entrepreneurial type and are from certain countries, you may be eligible for E-2 (treaty investor) or E-1 (treaty trader) visa. If you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business of athletics, you may apply for O visa.


How to qualify for treaty trader (E-1) visa?

Two Mexican citizens established a US company to import fresh produce from Mexico and sell it in the U.S. and Canada. Each member held 50% interest in the US company. Each member invested “substantial” amount of capital and put it “at risk”. The company rented office space and and warehouse, obtained a license for the US Department of Agriculture, a Blue book rating, registered trademark, hired customs broker and incurred marketing and warehouse expenses. The company created job opportunities for US workers – hired a full time sales representative and started interviewing for other positions. During its first season, the company generated very healthy profit and took steps to increase its marketing efforts to increase sales and visibility.

We established that the trade is already in existence, it is “substantial” and principally (more than 50% of total volume of international trade) between the US and Mexico.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one treaty trader (E-1) visa case study. If you would like to obtain a treaty trader (E-1) visa, call our experienced E-1 visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.


Unemployment benefits for (non)immigrants

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are receiving questions from our immigration clients regarding whether or not they are eligible to seek unemployment insurance benefits in the event of a layoff, reduction in force or termination.

Are you eligible for unemployment insurance? It depends. Each state has different unemployment insurance eligibility requirements. In Arizona, for example, individuals filing a claim for unemployment insurance benefits must indicate that they are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work. In order to be “available for work,” you “must be ready and willing to accept full-time work when offered without restrictions.” Consequently, it depends on your immigration status and applicable case law to determine if you are considered “available for work” when you are unemployed.

Thus, if you are only authorized to work in the U.S. for a single employer (e.g., holding H-1B or L-1 status) and lose your job, you generally would not qualify because you are not considered “able and available to work” when you are unemployed.

On the other hand, if you have an employment authorization document (e.g., adjustment of status applicants, spouses of E or L status holders,
certain H-4 spouses of H-1B workers, DACA recipients, refugee or asylee), you would generally be “available for work” for another employer. The same applies to lawful permanent residents. Undocumented workers are not “available for work” because they are not legally authorized to work in the U.S.

Please note at that this is only an overview of the unemployment benefits for immigrants and non-immigrants and is not intended as legal advice. IF you were laid off and would like to consult an experienced immigration attorney, calls us at 480-425-2009 or contact us via our website and we will help you determine the best options in your situation.