In Washington, 21,144 international students enrolled in the state’s colleges and universities during the 2021-22 school year. Some have graduated and are pursuing an H-1B visa, a nonimmigrant legal authorization that allows them to work for a specific company in the U.S. But the process is not simple. No matter what degree a student holds or how qualified they are for a job, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must pick their H-1B application from a lottery to review it.
I’m grateful that my previous employer submitted my registration twice, but it never got picked from the lottery. I watched my friends receive their H-1B visas as my windows of opportunity closed.
To shed light on the USCIS’ current H-1B procedure and to find solace in my grief, I sought to hear from Seattle-based international students, particularly Asian women like me.