For Individuals with Oustanding Achievements or Abilities
O-1 Visas for Extraordinary Achievement or Ability
An O-1 visa is a temporary non-immigrant worker visa granted to people with special talent in the arts, science, education, business, or athletics. It is further divided into two categories –– O-1A and O-1B.
O-1A and O-1B Visas
O-1A applies to those with extraordinary ability in any field other than the arts, and O-1B applies to those with remarkable skills in the motion picture or television industry. There is also the O-2 visa, which is given to people accompanying and aiding the O-1 alien with artistic or athletic performance.
Given to individuals accompanying and aiding the O-1 Visa with their artistic or athletic performances.
O-1A Application Requirements
- Membership in associations which require high levels of accomplishment.
- Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media.
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of significant value.
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals.
- High salary.
O-1B Application Requirements
Starring role(s) in productions with a distinguished reputation.
National or international recognition for accomplishments.
Performing or scheduled to perform a starring role for renowned organizations.
Evidence of major commercial or critical success.
Significant recognition for achievements from organizations in the same field.
O Visa Application Process
The procedure to obtain an O visa requires the petitioner or applicant to submit form I-129 to the USCIS at least 45 days before the scheduled start of employment. It is recommended to have a peer group or specialist in the applicant’s field issue a consultation for the petition. The amount of time it takes for the USCIS to process the petition may vary, but usually takes several months.
If you pay an additional fee of $1,225, the USCIS will handle the petition in 15 days. It is advantageous to hire an immigration lawyer for this complex, intricate application process.
If there is no suitable peer group or labor organization to provide the necessary consultation for the O-1 petition, the USCIS will make a decision based on evidence of record.
Other sponsoring specifications include providing a copy of the contract between the petitioner and applicant. Both a written and an oral agreement will suffice. In some circumstances, the agents may serve as both representative and employer of the applicant.