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Thread: Trnasfering employer on O-1 visa

  1. #1
    I have a very difficult situation. I am one year into my O-1 visa, which names an artistic agency for freelancers as my "sponsor" or employer. Now I found a full-time job in my field (media) but HR and the company's legal counsel claim they can't allow me to work for them because the visa needs to be repurposed so that it lists their name. At the same time, they are saying that an O-1 is a very difficult visa to get and they "can't see from my resume how I could have gotten it in the first place." Their in-house immigration attorney told me she and her colleagues would have to review all supporting documents I sent to the INS last year to decide whether I in fact deserve this distinction. (Despite the fact that the INS has already decided that.)

    But that's not all. The twist is that I already was hired and worked for a week at the company. HR procrastinated reviewing my documents, and now they are saying I can't continue to work there until this is cleared up. So I am effectively hired by the people in charge of this -- editorial managers -- yet the immigration attorney seems to be saying that she has the final veto over whether I'm qualified enough to work for them.

    How could this be? Is she right to insist on having to re-file everything with the INS for another approval, just so they can switch the empoyer name on the visa? What are my options at this point? What do I stand to lose?

  2. #2
    I have a very difficult situation. I am one year into my O-1 visa, which names an artistic agency for freelancers as my "sponsor" or employer. Now I found a full-time job in my field (media) but HR and the company's legal counsel claim they can't allow me to work for them because the visa needs to be repurposed so that it lists their name. At the same time, they are saying that an O-1 is a very difficult visa to get and they "can't see from my resume how I could have gotten it in the first place." Their in-house immigration attorney told me she and her colleagues would have to review all supporting documents I sent to the INS last year to decide whether I in fact deserve this distinction. (Despite the fact that the INS has already decided that.)

    But that's not all. The twist is that I already was hired and worked for a week at the company. HR procrastinated reviewing my documents, and now they are saying I can't continue to work there until this is cleared up. So I am effectively hired by the people in charge of this -- editorial managers -- yet the immigration attorney seems to be saying that she has the final veto over whether I'm qualified enough to work for them.

    How could this be? Is she right to insist on having to re-file everything with the INS for another approval, just so they can switch the empoyer name on the visa? What are my options at this point? What do I stand to lose?

  3. #3
    Hi Ash, welcome to ILW


    Just b-umping this thread up to top in hoping someone can help
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  4. #4
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ash9027:
    Is she right to insist on having to re-file everything with the INS for another approval, just so they can switch the empoyer name on the visa? </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Yes, new employer must file new petition if O-1 visa holder changes employers.

    It happens often that the hiring person does not have the full knowledge of the immigration laws. That's why they have lawyers.

    You can read about the requirements:
    http://www.uscis.gov/propub/ProPubVAP.jsp?dockey=176035...c07ea048ad92f1e3f8d1

    Have you stopped working for the original employer? If yes, when was that?

  5. #5
    Aneri, thanks for your response. Since my original employer is a freelance artist agency, I wasn't employed there on a full-time basis (they essentially functioned as "representatives" to secure assignments). Their legal counsel had explained to me that whenever I do find another employer, I'm free to start working for them right away. So since HR at the new employer didn't raise the question right away after I sent them my forms, I assumed they saw no issue with me working for them on the current visa.

    Do you know if the process I'd have to go through now with the new company is mostly a technicality to transfer the sponsorship to the new employer, or just as rigorous as the original O-1 application?

    Many thanks for your advice.

  6. #6
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ash9027:
    Do you know if the process I'd have to go through now with the new company is mostly a technicality to transfer the sponsorship to the new employer, or just as rigorous as the original O-1 application? </div></BLOCKQUOTE> I don't know much about O visas... My understanding is that the new employer has to start from scratch... like you haven't had the visa. It will be easier for you though to prove your extraordinary abilities and achievements (which are in line with company's line of work) since you've done it before and have necessary documents in order..

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