How can I get an O-1 visa to freelance on web3 projects? – TechCrunch

Here is another edition Dear Sophie’s advice column answering immigration-related questions about working for tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people around the world to rise above boundaries and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re a people guy, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly Dear Sophie columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

I’m a UX/UI designer in Europe and I work for a web3 company in the US.

I would like to leave my current position and move to the US to pursue a job that allows me to have more autonomy, flexibility and the ability to take on different projects with different clients in the US.

How can I do this? Thank you for your help.

— Worldly web3 Miracle

Dear Layman,

I have long wondered if web3 will make immigration obsolete. Technology measures passive work by augmenting and elevating the human experience. I don’t think immigration is going anywhere anytime soon.

Let’s explore some US immigration options that will help you gain the autonomy and job diversity you desire.

A work visa that allows free…

Composite image of immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn against a TechCrunch logo background.

Image credits: Joanna BuniakSophie Alcorn (opens in new window)

Most nonimmigrant work visas, which allow you to temporarily stay and work in the United States, are tied to a specific employer who sponsors you for the visa, offers you a job, and files a visa application on your behalf.

If you can’t get a work permit, there’s only one main type of visa that clearly allows you to freelance, in other words, work for multiple companies, and that’s the O-1 visa. With an O-1A, you must have a US agent who will either act as your employer or represent multiple employers to sponsor you for the O-1. A partner in your field can act as your US agent, but the petition must provide details about your relationship as an O-1 beneficiary to the US agent.

O-1 doesn’t give you complete autonomy, but it will give you the freedom to choose different projects in your field in different organizations.

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