There is often a confusion whether you can file a self-petition for an O-1 visa/Eb-1a green cad. We have drafted a chart that summarizes some sponsorship differences between the O-1 visa & Eb-1a green card.
O-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for individuals who have extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, athletics, arts, or who have an extraordinary achievement in motion picture or TV industry.
EB-1A green card is a green card for individuals that have arisen to the top of their profession and have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation.
When applying for both the O-1 visa/Eb-1a green card, you can find a U.S. employer (or agent for an O-1 petition) that could sponsor you for an O-1 visa. However, many individuals want to sponsor themselves for an O-1 visa/Eb-1a green card and we have drafted the chart below that summarizes some of the key differences between the O-1 & Eb-1a sponsorship.
|O-1 visa||Eb-1a green card|
|Do I have to have an entity in the U.S. that will sponsor me?||YES.
Yes, you will have to set up an entity in the U.S. that will sponsor you for an O-1 visa (the entity will be the petitioner and you will be the beneficiary of the O-1 petition). You cannot sponsor yourself as an individual for an O-1 visa.
You don’t need to set up a company in the U.S. that will sponsor you for an O-1 visa as
|Can I own 100% in the sponsoring entity?||Yes. You can be the majority/sole owner of the U.S. company that is sponsoring you for the O-1 visa.||If you have a U.S. company that will be sponsoring you for an O-1 visa (but this is not required as explained above), you can be the sole owner.|
|Do I have to have an offer of employment?||Yes. You should submit either a written contract between you and the sponsoring company or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed (even if the petition is your own company).||No, because you can sponsor yourself for the green card, you don’t have to show that you have an offer of employment. You should still describe though what you plan to do in the U.S. (describe the clients you will work with, the projects you will work on).|
|Can I file the petition with USCIS as an individual?||
As mentioned above, you would have to set up a company in the U.S. and that company will have to file the petition with USCIS.
You can file the Eb-1a petition as an individual.
Please see some common questions and answers about the O-1 visa when you click here.
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