Ask Sophie: Can I get an O-1A visa to bypass the H-1B process?

Ask Sophie: Can I get an O-1A visa to bypass the H-1B process?

Bestselling writer Sophie Alcorn, lawyer and founding father of Alcorn Immigration Legislation in Silicon Valley, CA, is an award-winning Licensed Specialist Lawyer in Immigration and Nationality Legislation by the State Bar Board of Authorized Specialization. Sophie is captivated with transcending borders, increasing alternative, and connecting the world by training compassionate, visionary, and skilled immigration legislation. Join with Sophie on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Expensive Sophie,

I’m a world pupil from India who will likely be eligible for STEM OPT beginning in January. 

My plan has been to discover a manner to make use of it for my tech startup, however ultimately, I must shift to a piece visa as a result of I wish to be the CEO. 

Can I bypass the entire H-1B visa factor by getting an O-1A visa? If sure, can I do it with only a bachelor’s diploma? What counts as extraordinary capacity?

— Spirited STEM Pupil

Expensive Spirited,

I’m so excited to listen to you’re leaping into the function of a startup founder — and I’m so happy you’re planning forward! As at all times, I like to recommend you seek the advice of an immigration lawyer for steerage. And observe your coronary heart as you take into account your path to extraordinary capacity; we’ll discuss extra about this requirement beneath!

Sure — you’ll be able to completely bypass the H-1B specialty occupation visa for the O-1A extraordinary capacity visa! No one is ever “required” to get an H-1B, and plenty of routes can result in your inexperienced card. The O-1A usually aligns higher with the skills and experiences of startup founders than the H-1B.

It has no agency necessities as to schooling or wage — not like the H-1B — and your startup or agent can sponsor you for an O-1A. Simply remember the fact that the bar for qualifying for an O-1A is increased than it’s for the H-1B. That stated, since there’s a low barrier to entry for the annual H-1B lottery in March (at the moment firms pay the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies [USCIS] $10 per registration), guarantee your H-1B eligibility along with your immigration lawyer and take into account pursuing it in parallel as a backup.

Let’s first look at organising your startup to qualify for F-1 STEM OPT and O-1A.

Forming a startup

In case you are on common OPT and also you wish to file for an O-1A probably even earlier than STEM OPT, take into account forming the authorized entity in your startup. Your company lawyer may help you identify the easiest way to construction the corporate given your monetary (enterprise capital) objectives and immigration necessities, which I’ll go into extra element on in a second.


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