Each year, the first week of April is a stressful one for thousands of would-be employees in America. Often, these workers have graduated from top-tier colleges and had the chops to get noticed by businesses all across the United States. They accepted job offers and made plans to start their lives contributing to their field, often in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. While that sounds like the American Dream come true for most college graduates, it’s sometimes not enough for thousands of international students, who are often forced to rely on a lottery system to determine whether they’re allowed to keep that job, and continue living in the country at all.
Each year, April 1 marks the first day that employers around the country can submit applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in order to sponsor an employee for a temporary employment visa. These visas, called H-1Bs, allow foreign workers with specialized skills to continue living in the United States and to begin working for the company that has offered them a job.