We applied for an H-1 visa, because we could argue that Rick had the equivalent of the required bachelor's degree. The odds for receiving the H-1 visa weren't good, since there were more than twice as many applicants as available visas, and we were trying to argue eligibility on top of that. So...we weren't selected to receive the visa.
Yet, we were told that our odds would increase the second year (something about a different pool), so Rick will go back to school to try and finish his degree by next year.
We've also heard about an O-1 visa, for "extraOrdinary" individuals. It requires a lot of awards and recommendation letters, and is typically given to Nobel Prize winners, and the like. Maybe we'll try for that one as well. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so we'll see when we can get things together.