O-1 Visa – Extraordinary Abilities

The O-1 Visa category has unique requirements and applications procedures. These applications require careful, complete and professional preparation of your documents and information. Our law firm has significant experience with and knowledge of all the relevant criteria for the O-1 visa category. During your consultation we will discuss the facts of your case and provide an assessment of your application. We strive to get it right the first time and we will do our best to facilitate the approval of your application. We are proactive in the application process and we communicate with immigration officials as required. 

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The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign individual who:

  • O-1A possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or
  • O-1B who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
  • Additionally, the O-2 classification is available to support staff accompanying the O-1 principal to assist in a specific event or performance. And O-3 classification is reserved for spouse and dependant children of O-1 principal.
  • This individual must be coming to the United States temporarily to work in his/her area of expertise. To satisfy the level of extraordinary ability in the individual’s area of expertise, the person must be one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of their field of endeavor.

Application process O-1 Visa:

The petition must be filed by a US employer, US agent, or a foreign employer through a US agent, but not by the foreign national.

In order to avoid delays, the petition should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment but no more than 1 year prior to commencement of employment. The O1 Visa petition requires significant time and substantial documentation. Clients must allow sufficient time to gather the evidence and assemble the petition.

The O1 visa allows for an initial period of stay of no more than 3 years with extensions indefinitely as long as the conditions of the visa remain satisfied. Currently, there is no annual limit on the number of O-1 visas.

The O-1 visa petition packet consists of I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker and the appropriate documentary evidence including:

  • Foreign National’s resume
  • Copy of employment contract
  • Information about the employer
  • Explanation of the nature of O-1 events or performance
  • Copy of biographic page(s) of passport of the foreign national and any dependants
  • Copies of foreign national’s education credentials
  • Information on contacts who can provide a written advisory opinion or recommendation letters; and
  • Documentation regarding foreign national’s accomplishments in the field that will satisfy the evidentiary criteria listed below

Evidentiary Criteria for O-1A

Evidence that the beneficiary has received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:  

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
  • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
  • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation

If the above criteria do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility.

If you are considering filing for O1 visa or you want to learn more about this exciting visa category, please contact us! We offer affordable legal services ranging from initial consultation to comprehensive flat fee petition packets.