O1 - VISA
What is an O-1 Visa?
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses
extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business,
or athletics, or 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.
That you are a leading or notable person in the field.
The O-1 visa is separated into two sections: O-1A for sciences, athletics,
and business; and O-1B which is for artists. Although the term
"extraordinary ability" is used for both, the meaning of
" extraordinary ability” slightly differs based on the group it's referring to.
What are the basic requirements?
· An Employer or Agent Sponsor is required, a contract with a U.S. employer
or agent is necessary. An individual may not self-petition for an O-1 visa.
Form I-129 must be filed.
· Advisory opinion MUST be included in your O-1 Visa petition, from a
trade or consulting organization or a reputable peer group that the
applicant has a well-established reputation for exceptional ability.
If there is no applicable peer group, a number of strong and focused letters
from experts in the field may be substituted for the advisory opinion.
It is important to show that the individual has already achieved the top level
in her or his field. Each organization has a different process for obtaining
· Extraordinary Ability. In order to be eligible for an O-1 visa on a temporary
basis, the applicant must have demonstrated outstanding skills in the arts,
sciences, or sports.
How do I know if I am eligible?
For an O-1A visa, you must show that you are at the top of your field in Science, Education, Business, or Athletics by earning a major internationally recognized award (such as a Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, or Olympic Medal), or by submitting
In the absence of such an award, an applicant must provide evidence
of at least three of the following:
· Awards or prizes for excellence in the field
· Membership in related associations that require outstanding achievements
· Published articles about the applicant and the applicant’s work in the field
· Significant and original contributions to the field
· Articles the applicant has authored that have been published in scholarly
· A salary that indicates the applicant has extraordinary ability
· Evidence that the applicant has been on a panel that judges others in the
field or has done so individually
· That the applicant has been employed by a distinguished organization or establishment in an essential capacity
Applicant for the O-1B, if you work in an artistic field, must show that you
have attained "distinction" in your artistic field, which means a high degree
of success as demonstrated by a level of competence and recognition
substantially above average. If you work in the film or television industry,
you must demonstrate that you have a high level of expertise and recognition
that is well above average.
Applicants must have won a major award, such as an Oscar or Grammy,
or show evidence of at least three of the following:
· Evidence of past or future performances in a leading role or as a star
participant in distinguished events or productions
· National or International recognition for past achievements
· Evidence of past or future performances as a lead or star participant for
distinguished organizations or establishments
· Evidence of significant commercial success or critical recognition
· Recognition from critics, experts or government agencies for achievements
in the field
· Evidence of receiving compensation for work that demonstrates an
extraordinary ability as compared to the compensation received by others
in the field
You must not only meet the eligibility criteria for status and achievement
but also additional requirements such as continuing to work in your area
of specialism during your stay in the US, and having an itinerary of
performances or events or a full-time role in the US in your field of
extraordinary ability. You can travel to the United States for work
purposes only if it is temporary and short-lived/finite.
An O-1 visa may be issued for a specific event or project for up to three years.
There is no limit to the number of extensions you can seek, as long as you
continue to satisfy the criteria.
Meeting the standard for extraordinary ability is only the first step.
You will need to fill out a formal application and provide enough persuasive
evidence to back up your claim. Furthermore, you will have to attend a
visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate located outside of America.
Let an Entertainment Immigration Lawyer guide you through the process.
We understand the required documentation necessary to prove
extraordinary ability and can help you avoid unnecessary obstacles
throughout the application prices.