The regular H-1B cap visa lottery allots 65,000 H-1B visas to foreign skilled workers each year, with an additional 20,000 visas available for master’s degree holders. Employees can only receive an H-1B visa if their registration is selected in the lottery.
Certain employers are exempt from the H-1B cap lottery, meaning they can sponsor an H-1B employee:
H-1B cap-exempt employers include:
During this article, we will cover how each of these different organization types can qualify as H-1B cap-exempt.
institutions of higher education
An institution of higher education is considered cap-exempt if it meets the following requirements:
nonprofit connected to institutions of higher education
Nonprofit entities are considered related to or affiliated with an institute of higher education if they meet any one of the following conditions:
Many nonprofits that do not have a university affiliation do not qualify for H-1B cap exemption. Similarly public secondary schools do not qualify for H-1B cap exemption unless they have an affiliation agreement with college or university. To be considered a nonprofit research entity, an organization should be primarily working in research or be affiliated with a university.
nonprofit or government research organization
A nonprofit research organization is exempt from the H-1B cap if it is mainly engaged in:
Additionally, research organizations of the US government qualify for H-1B cap exemption if their main mission is to promote or perform basic and/or applied research.
qualifying as a for-profit organization
For-profit companies can qualify as cap-exempt organizations if the H-1B employee will work at an approved nonprofit or qualifying institution.
To qualify, the employer is required to show that the employee will:
H-1B cap exemption can make it significantly easier to sponsor an H-1B worker’s visa. For help understanding whether your organization is cap-exempt, contact your trusted Chugh, LLP legal professional.