H1-B Visa: What If You Were Not Able To Get It? (2024)

alternatives to h1b visa
Facundo Bermudez
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Published on 9 Feb 2022 Time to read 8 min read Last update on 6 Mar 2024

Immigration has been at the forefront of the news recently, and not always in a positive light. Specifically, the H1-B visa has been under attack, as being unjust to American workers and in need of reform. We have many clients who tried and did not win the H1-B lottery that decide to invest in a franchise. This allows them to reside legally under the E-2 investor visa. In this article, we will review alternatives to h1b visa, including the L-1 and O-1 visas, alongside discussing the most recent executive order and the E-2 visa alternative.

What does H-1B visa mean?

The H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. It is most commonly used by workers in the technology sector and recent college graduates employed by U.S. companies.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there are five requirements for an H1-B visa:

  • You must have an employer-employee relationship with the petitioning U.S. employer
  • Your job must qualify as a specialty occupation
  • Your job must be in a specialty occupation related to your field of study
  • You must be paid at least the actual or prevailing wage for your occupation, whichever is higher
  • An H-1B visa number must be available at the time of filing the petition. Unless the petition is exempt from numerical limits

Is there a cap on H-1B visas?

The government’s imposition of a cap on the number of H-1B visas issued annually plays a significant role in shaping the landscape of skilled immigration to the United States. Currently set at 65,000 visas per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 visas reserved for individuals holding master’s degrees or higher, this cap underscores the competitive nature of the H-1B visa program. As seen in the recent FY 2024 season, where USCIS conducted its H-1B lottery, the demand for these visas remains exceedingly high, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome of the selection process.

With USCIS updating its H-1B registration page and providing stakeholders with comprehensive details regarding the FY 2024 season, including the total number of registrations received and the subsequent selection statistics, insights into the dynamics of the second-round lottery emerge. The sheer volume of H-1B registrations underscores the intense competition for these visas, with USCIS revealing that out of the staggering 780,884 registrations submitted, approximately 757,000 were deemed eligible for consideration. This data sheds light on the challenges faced by both employers and prospective employees navigating the H-1B visa process, highlighting the importance of understanding the intricacies of the system in pursuit of temporary employment opportunities in the United States.

Misuse of the H1-B visa program

Most nightly news segments such as 60 minutes have shed light on the abuse of the H1-B program, further limiting the number of slots for foreign students seeking U.S. employment. In the 60 minutes segment from March 19, 2017, companies throughout the U.S. are replacing American technology workers with foreigners. Even government institutions like the University of California, San Francisco, are outsourcing jobs to IT (information technology) workers from India.

In multiple cases, the American IT professionals have to train the foreign IT professional over a multi week period. If the American IT professional refuses to train the new employee, he risks losing severance payments. Walt Disney World alone laid off 200 workers and UCSF another 80 American workers. As President Trump stated at a campaign event, “They won’t give you the severance pay unless you train the people…”. Trump, as are many Americans, is disgusted by this practice and the manipulation of the H-1B Visa program.

Alternatives to H1B Visa

E-2 Visa

The E-2 visa stands out as a highly attractive alternative to the H1B visa, particularly for individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations. Unlike the H1B visa, which is geared towards skilled professionals seeking employment in specialized fields, the E-2 visa is specifically designed for investors and entrepreneurs looking to establish or manage a business in the United States.

To qualify for an E-2 visa, applicants must be nationals of a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. One of the most appealing aspects of the E-2 visa is its flexibility regarding educational and professional backgrounds, as it does not mandate specific degrees or credentials. Instead, applicants must demonstrate their intention to invest a substantial amount of capital into a U.S. enterprise, with the investment being sufficient to ensure the success of the business venture.

Moreover, the E-2 visa does not impose numerical caps or quotas, offering a more predictable and accessible pathway for individuals seeking to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in the United States. This lack of a cap distinguishes the E-2 visa from the highly competitive H1B visa lottery system, providing a more straightforward route for qualified applicants.

Interested in receiving a free guide on the E-2 Visa? Click here to request!

O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa offers a compelling alternative to the H1B visa, particularly for individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements in their field. Unlike the H1B visa, which is designed for skilled professionals in specialty occupations, the O-1 visa is reserved for individuals who have demonstrated a high level of expertise and recognition in fields such as science, arts, education, business, or athletics. To qualify for an O-1 visa, applicants must provide evidence of their extraordinary abilities through sustained national or international acclaim, as well as recognition for their achievements. This can be demonstrated through awards, publications, memberships in prestigious organizations, or other forms of recognition within their industry.

One of the key advantages of the O-1 visa is its flexibility and lack of numerical caps, making it an attractive option for highly accomplished individuals seeking temporary employment in the United States. Unlike the H1B visa, which is subject to annual quotas and a lottery system, the O-1 visa allows applicants to bypass these limitations and obtain a visa based solely on their individual merit and achievements.

Interested in receiving a free guide on the O-1 Visa? Click here to request!

L-1 Visa

The L-1 visa presents itself as a compelling alternative to the H1B visa, particularly for multinational companies seeking to transfer employees to their U.S. branches. Unlike the H1B visa, which is geared towards skilled professionals in specialty occupations, the L-1 visa is specifically designed for intracompany transferees, allowing multinational companies to transfer executives, managers, and employees with specialized knowledge to their U.S. offices. To qualify for an L-1 visa, applicants must have been employed by the same multinational company outside the U.S. for at least one continuous year within the preceding three years and must be seeking entry to the U.S. to continue working for the same employer or a related company in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.

Additionally, the L-1 visa offers the opportunity for visa holders to apply for permanent residency through the EB-1C immigrant visa category, further streamlining the process for multinational executives and managers seeking to establish a permanent presence in the United States.

About Us

Since our inception in 2015, Visa Franchise has realized the aspirations of over 1,200 immigrants from 65+ countries. Together, our clients have contributed to the creation of over 2,500 American jobs, with numerous businesses achieving revenue surpassing $1 million. In an industry where longevity is paramount, our distinction lies in our annual collaboration with over 100 clients, setting us apart from those handling only a handful of E-2 visa cases each year.

Our sister company, Vetted Biz, serves as the foremost platform for comprehensive and analytical data on franchises and businesses in the U.S. Their research, spanning over 7,000+ franchises, offers invaluable insights. By filtering for E2 Visa-eligible franchises, you can select options based on investment range, U.S. locations, Average Unit Volume (AUV), and more.

While other brokers may prioritize short-term gains, our focus remains on selecting businesses that lay the groundwork for enduring success. Our commitment to your satisfaction extends to our pricing model, ensuring you receive the optimal value for your investment.


In conclusion, the discourse surrounding immigration, particularly regarding the H1-B visa, has been fraught with debates over its fairness and necessity for reform. Many individuals who were unsuccessful in the H1-B lottery have turned to alternative pathways, such as investing in franchises to secure the E-2 investor visa. Throughout this article, we explored alternatives to the H1B visa, including the L-1 and O-1 visas, highlighting their advantages and suitability for individuals with diverse backgrounds and aspirations.

These alternatives present viable options for individuals navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration system, offering opportunities for professional growth and contribution to the American economy. As the landscape of immigration continues to evolve, exploring alternatives to the H1B visa remains imperative for those seeking to pursue their dreams and aspirations in the United States. So, do you have a preference for which alternative you would like to choose?

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Mentioned visas

EB2-NIW (green card)

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

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E2 Visa

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Access E-2 visa details