So you entered the H-1B lottery and you weren’t selected? As the lottery is now a reverse lottery, favoring US degree master holders, it is likely that you will need to seek out additional visa options to continue to remain in the US.
The H-1B visa is an employer sponsored visa usually reserved for traditional employment. It lasts for 3 years and it is extendale for an additional 3 years.
In order to qualify one must hold at least a bachelor’s degree and a job offer for a specialty occupation.
Applying for the O-1 Visa is while applying for the H-1B is a great strategy to ensure you can continue to remain and work in the US.
The O visa is different from the H-1B visa because it allows for the traditional employer employee relationship in addition to having the ability to engage in multiple types of employment with different companies, projects and private individuals.
Differences between the O-1 and H-1B
Unlike the H-1B, for the O-1 one doesn’t need a specific degree or specific years of employment to qualify.
The second major difference is that for the H-1B, one needs to earn a prevailing wage, which is set by the government. The prevailing wage requirement is to ensure that the foreign national isn’t being exploited for her work.
The O-1 visa does not have a prevailing wage requirement. However, if the projected salary is too low USCIS may raise FLSA issues.
The third major difference is that with the H-1B visa, employment is limited to one employer, while the O-1 allows for multiple types of employment to occur simultaneously. What is unique to the O-1B is that the beneficiary can “add additional performances and engagements.” The same is not true for the O-1 visa.
Elektra Yao is the managing attorney and founder of Yao Law Group. She loves working with artists and is a recognized leader for O-1 visas. Visit yaolawgroup.com for more information.