I'm currently on an O1 visa and have found a new employer that I would like to work for. On the USCIS O1 website, it says the following:
"If you are an O-1 nonimmigrant in the United States and you want to change employers, then your new employer must file a Form I-129 with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions."
Is this accurate? How difficult is it for the employer to file for the I-129 form? Is it basically like applying for a new O1 visa? Is there any reason the I-129 shouldn't go through, since I've already had an O1 granted once?
Yes, it is accurate - there is no portability for O-1s, so the new petition must be approved before you can start work for the new employer. The fact of having been granted an O-1 before is helpful, but you must show that you have sustained your national of international level of acclaim in your field of endeavor, and that you have maintained valid visa status in the US.
This is general information only. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice specific to your circumstances, you must consult an attorney in a confidential setting, not in an online forum.
The new employer basically has to file a new O-1 petition again - though most of the information used in the prior petition may be used again. While previously being granted O-1 status is a good indication, it is no guarantee, that subsequent employer sponsored O-1 petitions will be approved.
Yes, you will need to go through the O-1 petition process again in its entirety. If you have access to a copy of your previous file and you are applying in the same category of extraordinary ability, that will take care of a major component of the filing, but your employer may still require legal assistance in compiling the other aspects of the application. Successfully meeting the requirements of the O-1 once does improve the likelihood that your petition will be granted again, but it by no means a guarantee, and the USCIS could always issue RFE's if they deem that additional information is required for processing the petition.
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