This is a very common question made by potential O-1 visa applicants. Several entities may serve as an O-1 visa sponsor. These include companies, agents/representatives, or individuals. Depending on the structure of the visa, the O-1 visa applicant may either be limited to working with the sponsor in what is considered an employment or closed O-1 visa or the applicant may also be authorized to work with various employers in what is called an agency or open O-1 visa model. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the top queries we receive is if an individual applying for a Green Card should extend his or her O1 visa.
A bit of background information first. The Green Card application based on Extraordinary Ability has two distinct stages. Stage 1 of the process is called the I-140 immigrant petition, which is where you must demonstrate that you fulfill at least 3 out of the 10 Extraordinary Ability criteria. Upon approval of the I-140 petition you are eligible to apply for Stage 2 of the process called the I-485, Application to Adjust to Lawful Permanent Residence. This is the actual green card application, which allows you to also apply for work and travel authorization. Read the rest of this entry »
Many physicians and researchers decide to remain in the United States temporarily after the expiration of their J-1 visa. Because of the home residency requirement, they are limited as to their visa options. However, the O-1 non-immigrant visa is the perfect fit for those physicians and researchers wanting to stay temporarily in the United States to further their career. Read the rest of this entry »
When is enough evidence really enough for an O-1 Visa? The short answer is NEVER. According to new USCIS Draft Request For Evidence templates for O-1 visas, and current adjudications trends, USCIS is currently seeking more information than ever from O-1 visa applicants.
Below are some tips to consider when properly documenting your O1 visa case. Read the rest of this entry »
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has published a new video featuring AILA members as they weigh in on the troubling issue of Notario Fraud and how immigrants can avoid being victimized. Recently added to www.stopnotariofraud.org for consumer education.
Here are our top 5 blog posts according to information and reader response over the last few years. Hopefully, these will help you along with reaching your 2013 visa goals. We will have many information packed articles for 2013, but would like to share the following highlighted articles with you:
As stated by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on June 15, 2012, “effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.” Read the rest of this entry »
There are many misconceptions about the O-1 Visa category, one of the greatest misconceptions is that it’s just for individuals in the ARTS. Such as individuals that are in front of the camera, working on a canvas, on stage, or in the studio working on something Artistic, or those in the motion picture or television industry. Actors, Musicians, Singers, Painters, Sculptors etc… Now, these might be part of a large group that come to the US every year on O-1 Visas, but it’s not the only group. We’ll save the question of what are the Arts for another post. The Arts are generally covered under the O-1B category, while everything else is covered under the O-1A category.
Who qualifies for an O-1A anyways? The category is for those individuals with an extraordinary ability in the Sciences, Education, Business or Athletics. That’s right, everyone else that isn’t an “Artist”. As is painstakingly obvious, the O-1A doesn’t even come close to covering every type of non-artistic category. What about Lawyers? I know, the question is moot, because they are not extraordinary to begin with! But seriously, the O-1A category is an opportunity for highly skilled and talented individuals to come to the US on a 3 year work visa which, for example, does not have the restrictions of an H1B professional work visa. Read the rest of this entry »
So you have your O1 visa approved and stamped in your passport. You hit the ground running in La La Land and boom, a big Studio wants to hire you for an episode of one the most watched shows in the US. You consider this your first big US break and if it goes well, your US career will also take off.
Then the legal department for the Studio wants to review a copy of your O1 Visa to make sure you are able to actually work for them. The copy of your O-1 Visa should include: A copy of the immigration forms, the sponsor letter, the agreement between you and your representative, an itinerary and the advisory opinion letters. But this NEW production is not listed on your Itinerary as one of the proposed projects you are coming to perform. What now?
Hopefully, you have an O-1B “Representative” Visa as an Actor. That means that your O-1B Agent/Manager is representing you before USCIS and the entertainment world for the purpose of you coming to the US to work with different productions.
Under the consent and representation of your O-1B Agent you may add additional engagements without filing an amended O-1B petition. Read the rest of this entry »
You’re an Artist and you have your O1 visa for the next three years. You made the big move and are really ready to take off with your career in the US. But, you just received an email from your sponsor saying that business is really going bad and the company is closing, what do you do?
A very conservative approach will be to go out and find a new sponsor as soon as possible. The next step will be to switch your visa over to that new sponsor and file a Change of Sponsor O1 petition. Once the petition is approved you have successfully switched your status over to the new sponsor, but will still have to have the visa re-issued at the US Consulate in your respective country.
That is the clear cut strategy if your O1 is tied to a particular production and you are “employed” by the company. If the company goes out of business then your O1 visa has been automatically revoked as you are no longer “employed” by that particular company. But, let’s take a closer look at another common situation. For example, what if you are an Actor and your visa is with an Agent or Manager and that company closes. Is your current O1 visa still valid? YES it is!
The section of the law that specifically discusses this issue in the Federal Regulations regarding Automatic Revocation of an approved O1 visa petition states: The approval of an unexpired petition is automatically revoked if the petitioner, or the named employer in a petition filed by an agent, goes out of business, files a written withdrawal of the petition, or notifies the Service that the beneficiary is no longer employed by the petitioner. 8 CFR §214.2(o)(8)(ii).
So what does this mean? In a very typical situation where an Artists’ O1 visa petition is filed by an “Agent” acting on behalf of multiple production companies (employers) the O1 visa is not automatically revoked even if the Agent closes his/her business. This is true because the Agent is not the employer, and as long as the current and future production work remains valid then the visa remains valid. However, if the named employers in the petition filed by an Agent go out of business then the O1 visa is possibly automatically revoked.
As always if you are going through a similar situation make sure to immediately discuss the matter with a qualified immigration attorney.