The most frequently applied visa for international students after graduating from collage or university in the United States is H-1B visa. In the past, under the Optional Practical Training program, foreign students who stay to work in the United States could search for a job and apply for H-1B visa. However, getting H-1B visas has become increasingly difficult under President Trump’s administration so foreign students tend to be reluctant to apply for H-1B visa.
Congress set an annual limit of 85,000 such visas, 5,000 of which are for Singaporeans and Chileans, and 20,000 of which go to people who have earned a master’s degree or higher in the U.S. Most bachelor’s degree holders compete for 60,000 visas, with a 35% chance of winning. This is probably the biggest reason why many international students hesitate to apply for a work visa.
Even if you get selected in H1-B lottery, the screening for visa has become more toughen and difficult lately so many people are rejected in the end. As a result, more and more people do not consider applying for a work visa. But getting harder to get visa approval means that lawyers have to pay more attention and spend more time on each case, but that doesn’t mean the rejection rates of work visa become higher.
In addition, depending on how persuasively the attorney prepares the case, people with ordinary or rare majors may be approved for a work visa. For the last two years, there have been many cases where people with rare college majors have been approved for H1-B visa in our office. Below is the list of the majors in the cases:
- Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
- Animation and Visual Effects
- Public Policy
- Music Performance
- Child and Adolescent Development
- International Trade
- Food Technology
- Korean Language and Literature
- Golf Management
The most important thing in applying for a work visa is the close relationship between task in the company and your personal major. And I think it is at the discretion of the lawyer how well the lawyer explains the relation and persuades the immigration office.
Many people find it hard to get a work visa except doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, and some of these areas, so they give up without trying to apply for H1-B visa. However, a company can request and sponsor variety of majors depending on its types of business and its field and they can be approved as well. Therefore I recommend that you first consult an immigration lawyer.