From B-1 Visa to Being a Founder on O-1 Visa

Updated on April 25, 2024

About Rabi

  • Serial entrepreneur, started first company iCouch in India in 2013, a mobile app for TV channels that had over 2 million monthly active users. It was acquired by Uli a few years later.
  • Started second company Eva, an AI-powered chatbot that helps thank the world and incentivize using personalized gifts. Eva has raised money from top VCs like Bloomberg Beta, Precursor Ventures and Boost VC.

Visa Journey

  • B-1 -> O-1 -> Green Card


  • Indian


  • Bachelors from BIT and graduated in 2006

Arrival in the US

  • 2015: First came to the US in 2015 to explore next steps after iCouch acquisition
  • 2016: Moved to the US in March 2016 to start Eva

Countries lived in

  • India and USA

First Visa and Year

  • Came on business visa in 2015, stayed for 6 months which is the limit
  • Came again in March 2016 on business visa, stayed 6 months
  • Applied for extension and got 2 more months
  • Applied for O-1 visa during this time and got it

Visa journey

  • Came on business visa twice in 2015 and 2016
  • Got O-1 visa in 2016
  • Applied for green card, currently waiting

For O-1 visa, Rabi needed referral letters from accomplished people in his field and press about him in major publications. He used his background of building a successful company in India before and getting press to qualify for O-1 visa.

According to Rabi, many people don’t realize that you can build a startup in the US and qualify for O-1. It is one of the most entrepreneur friendly visas. The visa can only be sponsored by the employer.

Current job

  • Co-founder and CEO of Eva

Rabi moved to the US to start a startup and has since been running Eva as its co-founder and CEO.

Current status

  • On O-1 visa currently
  • Applied for green card and waiting for it to come through


  • 2013 – Started iCouch in India
  • 2015 – Came to US to explore, stayed 6 months on business visa
  • 2016 – Moved to US in March on business visa to start Eva
  • 2016 – Applied for O-1 visa and got it
  • 2017 – continue to grow and build Eva
  • Current – Applied for green card, waiting for it


  • Yes, founded Eva in 2016

Advice for visa and green card

  • Consult with lawyers to understand the various visa options available
  • Leverage any past successes, press to strengthen the visa application
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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

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