Does anyone have tips (or specific recommendations) for someone to help with an O1 visa, that is not crazy expensive?
February 4, 2010 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have tips (or specific recommendations) for someone to help with an O1 visa, that is not crazy expensive?

I'm a Canadian Citizen, hoping to get an O1 visa so that I can do some work in the US. I've called some firms who sound reliable, and helpful, and who suggest I'd be eligible. But they generally want around $4000 to put the package together (plus the actual fees that go into the visa). That's way more than I can afford.

I'd love to find some way to do this cheaper. It looks like there are people who will do the application less expensively (maybe around $1000), but it's really hard to tell who's reliable.

If it matters: The work I'm applying for is (mostly) in the arts.

Does anyone have any tips, or specific recommendations? Any info would be much appreciated.
posted by ManInSuit to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is your agent or employer willing to help you out with this as a sort of signing bonus? It's their petition after all.

I used to put these packages together as a young, naive paralegal fresh out of undergrad. Frankly, they are not that complex to assemble. I'm a moron and I'd crank them out two or three a day for peanuts while the Firm partners played squash (and I'm really not exaggerating). The reason they charge $4000+ is that the clientelle are the top of their field and assume that it must be difficult. You know your CV and your publications, documents, etc. better than anyone. I know you are about to get innundated with cries of "GET A LAWYER" as all immigration questions do on AskMe, but you could probably do this yourself. Just follow the order of the application and regulations and try and keep any narrative answers to a very basic level.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:56 AM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: Pollomacho - thanks! I originally thought I'd do my own application. I did my own TN-1 application a while ago, using a really well-written and comprehensive self-help guide I bought online for a reasonable price, and it worked fine. It seems that, at least in my own particular case, there are enough tricky parts that I'd rather have at least *some* help, but maybe not the full-out expense of a lawyer. A really good, reliable self-help guide (like the one for my TN-1) *might* be sufficient. Or someone (a lawyer or consultant) who has some expertise, and can help me with the trickier parts, while I do most of the work myself....
posted by ManInSuit at 11:23 AM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: (Oh and - Pollomacho - in response to your first question: I don't have a single employer- it's more that I have multiple opportunities to do short-term gigs for multiple organizations. My understanding is that there's a way to do that on an O1, by getting someone to agree to be your agent or representative, and then doing the smaller jobs through them. That's one of the tricky parts I want to find out more about....)
posted by ManInSuit at 11:41 AM on February 4, 2010

I know a Toronto actor who relocated to LA and who now does O1s and Green Card applications for other performers as a side job. Memail me and I'll pass along his name. And just something to think about-- several performers I know have strongly advised me that it's just as well to skip the O1 all together and go straight to the Green Card if your body of work and press accolades will support that (I think yours will).
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:29 PM on February 4, 2010

Response by poster: pseudostrabismus - Thanks! I'll memail you about your friend.
posted by ManInSuit at 7:13 AM on February 5, 2010

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