How a J1 Visa Architect wins the H1B lottery and stays in the US

In the beginning of the interview with Sebastian, they go into talking about how his program has gone so far and the impact that covid had on his experience. Since part of his J1 Visa was before the pandemic started and then part was during. For Sebastian the J1 Visa ended last year  in October. Nine months of his time was during covid, so it was difficult cause he worked from home for a couple of months and then went back to office and followed all of the protocols.

When Sebastian was a teen he moved to London from Colombia, and so he started getting interested in architecture when he went to London. While there he did the foundation course for architecture the SOAS arts and design, which gave him the opportunity to try out what it was like to be an architect. It changed his life, as they give you guidance and help you to develop your skills. He met a professor that pushed him to learn the basic skills such as how to build a quality portfolio and the course itself was one year long.

He has always been interested in design in some form, and then sustainability and global warming became his purpose and he wanted to make a positive impact through his skills in architecture. Sebastian loves all of the diversity at companies in the US and that was a key reason for going to the US. In Colombia you wouldn’t find that multiculturality.

Now Sebastian is on the path of becoming a lighting designer, but its hard to say a full lighting designer. He learned a lot and he enjoys the integrity of the work ethic and the vision at CLL concept. Working with such talented, experienced and international professionals makes for an incredible work environment.

Transition was not difficult, it was just a different experience. In a smaller firm you have more responsibilities and get to experience the whole process from start to finish. So sometimes it is best to start at a small firm to gain the most exposure. 

CLL Concept Lighting Lab was very open and after 3 months he got to start collaborating with other counterparts and he spent so many months doing physical model making, which allowed him to explore and have his creativity flow. As well as find more than one solution to one problem. Now he is a project designer, and moved up in the small firm he started at in Tucson. So he was able to get the H1B through CLL, and turned a J1 Visa program into a longer term situation.

CLL Concept Lighting Lab believed in his capabilities and they got new projects and a higher workload. They came to him asking for him to stay and they gave the H1B lottery a shot and made it work. For Sebastian, the future would be to engage with his current community more in Tucson, and try to give back to Colombia as well in the future. He wants to apply his sustainability experience to create better conditions for those most in need of shelter and a stable lifestyle.

Learn more about Sebastian’s inspiring story and how he was able to make the move to Tucson with CLL Concept Lighting Lab.

If you have any questions for Sebastian, please submit them below and we will respond ASAP! 👇👇👇👇


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