If you are currently in the U.S. on an O-1 visa and your visa is about to expire, you company may be considering 2 of the following options: (i) filing an extension for 1 year or renewing your O-1 for 3 years (please see our blog post on this when you click here).
Whether it’s possible to file a renewal application for 3 years will depend on whether the petitioner can make an argument that you are coming to the U.S. to perform services related to a new “event.” If this argument cannot be made, the petitioner will have to file an extension Please see our blog post on what is event for the purposes of O-1 visa when you click here.
Some things to keep in mind when filing an extension:
- As long as the extension application is filed before your O-1 visa expires, you will get an automatic 240 day employment extension. The benefit of this is that there will be no gap in your employment in case the company needs you in the U.S. For example, if you O-1 status expires on July 15, as long as the extension application was filed before this date, you can keep working for the company for up to 240 days.
- Even though the Premium processing is currently suspended due to the Corona virus outbreak, this will not affect you as you can keep working for the company for up to 240 days after your O-1 status expired.
- You will only get the extension for one year
Some things to keep in mind when filing a renewal O-1 petition for 3 years:
- You may get the O-1 visa for the 3 years and avoid filing extension every year
- Please note that Premium processing is currently suspended due to the Corona virus outbreak. If you will be filing a new O-1 visa petition, you do not get the automatic 240 day extension, and you have to stop working for the company when you O-1 visa status expires. Therefore, there may be a gap in your employment as it may take USCIS couple months to adjudicate your application.
- If you file the O-1 petition through Consular notification (this may increase your chances of obtaining the full 3 years), you will have to go to a Consulate and get your O-1 visa stamp before you will be able to start working for the petitioner. The U.S. consulates are currently not processing non-immigrant visa applications, so even once your O-1 petition was approved by USCIS, it may take some time for you to be able to schedule an interview at a Consulate.
- USCIS may not accept the argument that you are coming to the U.S. to perform activities related to a new event, and only grant you one year of O-1 status. This would mean, that in the hypo above, if the petition was filed as a new O-1 petition, you would have to stop working for the company on July 15, you would not get the benefit of the 240 day extension, and your O-1 visa would still only be granted for one year.
Please see our blog post on O-1B visa when you click here.
You can find key immigration information related to the Corona Virus below
- Top 10 Covid-19 Immigration Questions
- Implications of Layoffs for employers who have employees on H-1B and/or E-3 Visas
- USCIS announces flexibility for request for evidence (RFE) and Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
- Information on Consular closures during Covid-19
- USCIS issues guidance on Remote 1-9 verification during Covid-19
- USCIS office closures due to Covid-19
- Can I apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits while on a Visa?
- Canada/U.S. Border Closures
- USCIS announces temporary suspension of premium processing
- What can you do if your ESTA is running out?
- Travel Ban for Europe
- Stimulus Bill (All 800 pages)
- Information on Small Business Loans related to the Stimulus package
- USCIS to accept scanned/reproduced signatures instead of “wet” signatures on immigration petitions and forms
- Implications of furlough or termination if you are on a TN visa
- Does the Stimulus Bill impact my immigration status? Is there a public charge concern?
- Understanding the Stimulus Package for Small Businesses and the Paycheck Protection Program
- Small Business Administration COVID-19 Loans
- USCIS to Reuse Previously Submitted Biometrics to Process Work Permit Applications
- USCIS Temporary Office Closure Extended Until at least May 3
- SBA Loans and Public Charge Rules – Paychecks Loan Program and Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loan Program
- I am in the U.S. on H-1B visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak.
- I am in the U.S. on an E-2 visa, can I apply for loans under the Stimulus Bill?
- Does Covid-19 impact my obligations as an H-1B or E-3 Employer?
- I am in the U.S. on E-2 employee visa. Can I apply for unemployment benefits due to the Coronavirus?
- I want to decrease the salary of my H-1B employee, what is the process?
- I am in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and my employment was terminated due to the Corona virus outbreak.
- I am on an E-2 visa but cannot go back to my Consulate to Renew, what can I do?
- I had to terminate the employment of an H-1B employee due to the Corona virus outbreak. What are my obligations as an H-1B Employer?
- If I get laid off or furloughed am I still eligible to get a green card?
- My status is running out and I cannot leave because of Corona Virus.
- Presidential Proclamation Suspends Some Immigrants from Entering the US for 60 Days but will have very limited Impact
- USCIS Extends Flexibility for Requests for Evidence and Notices of Intent to Deny
- I am in the U.S. on E-1 treaty trader/E-2 investor visa. Can I furlough my E-1/E-2 employees?
- I am unable to enter the U.S. due to the Corona virus outbreak. Will this impact my E-1 visa renewal?
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