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O-1 VISA OPTION FOR SELF-EMPLOYED ENTREPRENEURS

2 min read
US Guest Worker Visa

Did you know that you can sponsor yourself for an O-1 Visa through an organization you own? Surely, you can! Read more to learn the requirements and see if this is an option for you!

Basics Of An O-1 Visa

The O-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for people who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, arts, motion picture, or the television industry. Typically, an O-1 visa requires an employer, who isn’t the candidate, to sponsor them. However, entrepreneurs can petition for themselves if they own the organization that acts as the petitioner. To sponsor your own O-1 Visa, you should meet specific requirements for self-petitioning and all the general requirements for the visa itself.

You should show that you have “extraordinary ability by supported national or international acclaim, or a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry and should be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.” You should give documentation to build up that you meet at least three of the USCIS standards for demonstrating extraordinary ability. You can learn more about the O-1 Visa here.

What Do These Requirements Entail?

To self-petition, there is an extra requirement. You should have a legal entry that is claimed by you, which will file the O-Visa petition on your behalf, with you as the Beneficiary. You should prove that you are the owner of the organization. It’s essential to know that creating a company alone isn’t sufficient. Also, you need to outline a bona fide “employer-employee” relationship with others at the company.

This implies that you can’t be the sole operator, manager, and employee. There is no employer-employee relationship if the Beneficiary can’t be terminated. However, if you sit on a Board of Directors as the sole or larger part stockholder of a corporation, for instance, that will comprise the relationship because the other board members can exert power over you through firing, hiring, and payment.

Here are some documents you can provide to establish the employer-employee relationship:

  • Evidence of a Board of Directors, with their roles and responsibilities;
  • Company by-laws stating the Board of Directors has the power to fire you;
  • Evidence of your responsibilities and supervision of your work by others; and
  • Evidence of contracts and purchase agreements.

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There are different documents and proof you can also use to show you meet the requirements to self-petition for an O-Visa, and an Immigration Attorney can assist you to plan and gather the required documents. If you think you meet the requirements to self-petition for an O-1 visa, kindly get in touch with us. We will review your case, guarantee that you have given all important information and materials, and offer you guidance on how to prepare the strongest application possible.

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