O-1 visas are available for those individuals who demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field. One of the most common misconceptions about O-1 visas is that it must be tied to a specific employer. Although the term “employer” is often used when referring to O-1 visas, you don’t necessarily have to be an employee to obtain the visa. You can obtain an O-1 visa as an independent contractor sponsored by an agent.
You can obtain an O-1 visa as an independent contractor. However, it is important to keep in mind that you must meet the same criteria as any other O-1 visa applicant. You must demonstrate that you have extraordinary ability in your field. In addition, you cannot petition for your own O-1 visa.
In general, all O-1 visa applications must be sponsored by a legal and operating United States-based organization or agency. As an O-1 visa holder, you may only obtain work through the organization or agency that sponsored your petition. The required petition must be submitted to the USCIS 45 days before your work in the United States begins. If you decide to change agencies, then you must have the new agency file a petition on your behalf. The petition must include copies of:
In addition to these pieces of evidence, you must still include additional evidence demonstrating your extraordinary ability in your field.
If you would like to petition for an O-1 visa as an independent contractor, an experienced immigration attorney can help you gather the evidence you need and put together a strong petition. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.