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What is USCIS?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a government agency responsible for the administration of the country's immigration and naturalization system
Is employment a mandatory requirement for an O-1 Visa?
Yes, employment is a mandatory requirement for an O-1 Visa. To be eligible for an O-1 Visa, an individual must have an offer of employment from a U.S. employer or agent. The employment must be in the individual's field of extraordinary ability or achievement, and the individual must be coming to the U.S. to work in that field. The employer or agent must also file a petition on behalf of the individual with the USCIS. Without employment in the U.S., an individual would not meet the eligibility criteria for an O-1 Visa
Who is the petitioner?
In the O-1A application, the petitioner is the sponsor who files the petition on behalf of the applicant. The sponsor can be either the employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer who uses a U.S. agent to file the petition
How to find sponsor (a petitioner) for an O-1 visa?
Since the O-1 visa is an employment-based visa, you will need to have an employer or agent who can apply for it on your behalf. Alternatively, you can use your own U.S.-based company to sponsor your petition. If you require assistance with setting up your company in the U.S., please get in touch with us for further guidance
Is it difficult to get the O-1 visa?
Getting an O-1 visa may not be as challenging as you assume. While the eligibility criteria associated with this visa can seem daunting, the key to success lies in developing a creative and relevant strategy that demonstrates the applicant's exceptional abilities through supporting evidence. In fact, the approval rate for O-1 visas is relatively high, ranging between 80% and 95% depending on the service centre
Can my spouse work in the U.S. while accompanying me?
If you will be accompanied by your family members, they will receive an O-3 status, which allows them to stay in the U.S. for as long as the primary O-1 visa holder remains in legal standing. However, O-1 spouses are not authorized to work in the United States. Engaging in employment would violate their Visa status and potentially harm their legal status. If eligible, an O-3 dependent may apply for a different immigration status that permits employment
Does O-1 visa help to receive a Green Card?
While O-1 Visa and EB-1 Visa categories have some similarities in terms of eligibility criteria, approval of an O-1 Visa does not guarantee approval for a Green Card under the EB-1 category. The O-1 Visa approval may strengthen the applicant's case for an EB-1 Visa, but the USCIS evaluates each petition independently. The USCIS will review the EB-1 petition based on its own merits, even if an O-1 application was previously approved. However, if the applicant is successful in obtaining the O-1 Visa, it may be a positive indicator of their eligibility for an EB-1A Visa
Is it possible to make a transition from an H-1B to an O-1A Visa as a founder?
The O-1 Visa has no annual limit or lottery, unlike the H-1B, and does not have industry requirements, minimum salary, or degree requirements. If you have an ownership interest in the company sponsoring your Visa, the O-1 Visa may be the better choice. Furthermore, the O-1 Visa can offer a direct path to permanent residency due to the similarities between the O-1 nonimmigrant Visa and the EB-1 immigrant Visa
It is acceptable to apply as a founder with less than 49% ownership in the company and once the Visa is approved - change the percentage and become the majority shareholder?
Yes, it is permissible. However, it is important to ensure that there is still a legitimate employment relationship in the company and there is someone who can act as the employer

O-1 visa

What is an O-1 visa?
An O-1 visa is a type of visa for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, tech, arts, education, business, or athletics. It is also available for those who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry
Can Dreem help with the O-1 visa process?
Yes, Dreem can help individuals and businesses with the O-1 visa process. Our experienced team and using of digitalized processes can assist with preparing and submitting the petition, as well as gathering the necessary evidence and supporting documents. We can also provide guidance on the overall process and answer any questions you may have
What are the requirements for an O-1 visa?
To qualify for an O-1 visa, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability or achievement in your field through sustained national or international recognition. You must also have a job offer or engagement in the U.S. that requires your extraordinary abilities
How to obtain an O-1 visa?
To obtain an O-1 visa, an individual must have an employer or agent who will apply on their behalf. While self-petitioning is not an option, a U.S. company owned by the O-1 visa beneficiary may be able to file the petition. This can be a good option for international startup founders. To qualify for an O-1A visa, the applicant must have achieved significant recognition in their field, such as through the receipt of a major international award like an Olympic medal or a Nobel Prize, or by meeting at least three of the eight eligibility criteria
How do I apply for an O-1 visa?
To apply for an O-1 visa, you must submit a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with evidence of your extraordinary ability or achievement, as well as a job offer or engagement in the U.S. You will also need to provide other supporting documents, such as a consultation letter from a peer group or labor organization
What is the cost of an O-1 visa?
The regular processing fee for an O-1 visa is $460. If you choose to expedite the processing with premium processing, you will need to pay an additional $2,500. For more information on Dreem’s pricing for O-1 visas, please refer to our pricing page
How long is the O-1 visa valid for?
An O-1 visa allows an individual to work for a specific employer in the U.S. for up to three years and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments
How to extend an O-1 visa?
To extend an O-1 visa, you can request an extension in one-year increments. The earliest you can apply for an extension is six months prior to the visa's expiration date. To apply for an O-1 visa extension, the petitioner needs to complete the I-129 form. The petition will then be evaluated and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Is it possible to lose O-1 visa?
An O-1 visa can be revoked under several circumstances even after it has been approved. If the petitioner goes out of business, files a written withdrawal of the petition, or informs the USCIS that the beneficiary is no longer employed by the petitioner, the visa can be revoked. Furthermore, if the facts included in the petition are found to be false, the visa can also be revoked
What is the difference between an O-1A Visa and an EB-1A Green Card?
An O-1A Visa and an EB-1A Green Card share a similar eligibility standard, which is demonstrating extraordinary ability in the applicant's field. The primary difference is that an O-1A Visa is a temporary non-immigrant Visa, while an EB-1A Green Card is a permanent immigrant Visa. An O-1A Visa is usually granted for up to three years initially, with the option to extend it in one-year increments. It allows the Visa holder to work only for the sponsoring employer or agent, and changing employers requires filing a new O-1 petition. In contrast, an EB-1A Green Card provides permanent residency status to the applicant and allows them to work for any employer in the United States. Additionally, an EB-1A Green Card provides the applicant with the ability to apply for U.S. citizenship after a certain period of time. The EB-1A Green Card process is generally more complex, lengthy, and costly than the O-1A Visa process, and requires the applicant to provide more comprehensive evidence of their extraordinary ability. EB-1A candidates should be able to show considerable evidence that they are at the top of their field. However, obtaining an EB-1A Green Card provides a more permanent solution for those who qualify. One more difference between the O-1A Visa and EB-1A Green Card is the entitlements granted to the family members. The spouse and children of an O-1A Visa holder are not automatically authorized to work in the U.S. Instead, they are usually granted O-3 Visas, enabling them to study in the U.S. but not to work. On the other hand, the spouse, and dependents of EB-1A holders are also given Green Cards after approval, provided that the children applying as dependents are below 21 years old
How long do I need to work for the petitioning company under an O-1 Visa?
You need to work with a stated company for the entire period included in your O-1 Visa Approval Notice. If you wish to change employers before your O-1 Visa expires, you must complete an application and submit all the documents and forms again
Can I have multiple employers while I hold an O-1 status?
If an employer files an O-1 petition, the beneficiary is restricted to work only for that employer. If the beneficiary wants to work for multiple employers, they can either file multiple concurrent O-1 petitions or consider the option of filing with an agent petitioner. An agent petitioner would allow the beneficiary to work for more than one employer, but additional evidentiary requirements apply depending on the type of agent filing the petition. These requirements are outlined under 8 CFR 214.2(o)(2)(iv)(E) and depend on whether the agent is filing as an employer, a person or company in business as an agent and filing for multiple employers, or an agent for a foreign employer
What if I stop working for the employer associated with my O-1 visa?
If your employment terminates while you are on an O-1 Visa, your legal status will be affected, and you will be required to leave the country. The O-1 Visa is employer-specific, which means that it is tied to the employer who sponsored it. If you leave that employer or are terminated from that employment, your O-1 Visa is no longer valid. You will have a grace period of up to 60 days to leave the United States, during which time you may apply for a change of status or a new Visa. It is important to note that the 60-day period begins on the day the employment terminates — not at the end of a period of severance pay. Please note that the 60-day grace period may only apply once per authorised nonimmigrant validity period

EB-1A visa

Who qualifies for an EB-1A green card?
The EB-1A green card is designated for individuals who have achieved extraordinary recognition in fields such as business, education, science, art, and athletics. Eligible applicants are highly regarded and widely acknowledged within their respective industries. Furthermore, the work they engage in should have a positive impact on the United States.
Is it necessary for me to be present in the United States in order to initiate the petition?
No, being physically present in the U.S. is not a requirement for petitioning. Many EB-1A applicants successfully file their petitions from overseas and go through consular processing if they are not currently in the U.S.
What is the definition of "extraordinary"?
The USCIS considers an individual "extraordinary" if they belong to the upper echelon of their field. This is proven by fulfilling the criteria for submittable evidence outlined by the USCIS.
What documents do I need to provide with my petition?
In addition to the petition for EB-1A, you need to submit supporting documents that demonstrate your extraordinary ability. This may include financial documents, letters of recommendation, bank statements, excerpts from publications, published articles, a job offer if applicable and many more. Our experienced team can provide guidance on the specific documents required for your I-140 petition.
Do I need reference letters?
Yes, reference letters or letters of recommendation are necessary to provide the evaluating officer with an understanding of your field and substantial evidence of your recognition. It is important that these letters come from prominent experts in your field, as letters from peers or close colleagues may not hold the same weight unless they are distinguished experts. Ideally, the letter authors should possess unique familiarity with your work or research to provide the officer with a comprehensive understanding of your qualifications.
How many recommendation letters do I need?
While the USCIS does not specify a specific number, it is generally recommended to include five to seven letters of recommendation in your EB-1A petition package.
Is it required for me to be employed in my specific field?
Yes, you must demonstrate your intention to work in the field where you have achieved extraordinary ability. However, this does not prohibit you from working part-time in a different field.
Do I need a job offer or PERM Certification?
Fortunately, as self-petitioning is allowed, you do not require a job offer from a U.S. employer. Consequently, you can bypass the PERM Labor Certification process. Even if you choose to have a sponsoring employer, they will not be obligated to obtain a PERM.
Should I obtain a labor certificate before applying for an EB-1A petition?
No, a labor certificate is not required before filing an EB-1A petition.
Who must be the petitioner in an EB-1A case?
One of the notable advantages of the EB-1A green card is the option for self-petitioning. This means you can initiate the petition without a job offer. However, if desired, you can still have a sponsoring employer submit the petition on your behalf. Only a few green cards, including the EB-1A, EB-5 for investors, and EB-2 with a National Interest Waiver, allow self-petitioning by the beneficiary.
What is the duration of validity for an EB-1A green card?
An employment-based green card, including the EB-1A, is valid for ten years. At the end of this period, you will need to apply for renewal. As long as you have maintained your status, such as remaining active in your field and maintaining a clean record, renewing your green card should not pose significant challenges. Or you can also choose a path to U.S. Citizenship. Please consult our team for more info.
What kind of case evaluation process do USCIS officers have?
USCIS officers use a two-part evaluation process for EB-1A cases. In the first step, the officer determines if you meet the requirements. This involves assessing evidence of a major international award or satisfying at least three of the alternative criteria. The officer primarily ensures that you have submitted sufficient evidence. In the second step, the officer evaluates the submitted evidence to determine if each item satisfies the claimed criteria. If the officer believes that the evidence establishes your position among the top percentile of your field based on the qualifications, your case should be approved.
How long does it take the USCIS to render a decision on a case after filing?
Typically, EB-1A processing times range from six months to a year.


How many recommendation letters do I need?
The number of recommendation letters required for a case may vary depending on the number of achievements, but generally, it can range from 10 to 15. To demonstrate that the candidate is among the top individuals in their field, the USCIS usually requires four to five expert opinion letters. Other letters can be used to verify previous employment, membership, or judging experience. These letters are an essential part of an O-1 petition, and their quality can significantly impact the application's outcome. The letters should be well-written and accurately represent the candidate's accomplishments
What is a RFE?
RFE stands for Request for Evidence. It is a request sent by USCIS to an applicant when they need additional information or documentation in order to make a decision on their case. An RFE can be issued for any type of visa or immigration application, and it typically specifies what information or documents are needed to complete the application. It is important to respond to an RFE promptly and thoroughly, as failure to do so can result in the denial of the application. A request for evidence is another chance to demonstrate eligibility for the requested immigration category. Although an RFE can be a complex and challenging process, having assistance from an experienced immigration specialist from Dreem Team can help simplify the process
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