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The O-1 visa is an Extraordinary Ability program in the United States that offers exceptional opportunities to individuals with extraordinary skills and talents in various fields.
This visa allows beneficiaries to work, learn, and excel in their areas of expertise.
The O-1 visa provides a range of benefits for both applicants
and employers or sponsors. Some key benefits include:
As an O-1 Visa beneficiary, you will be recognized for your extraordinary achievements and talents in your field. This provides you with unique opportunities to collaborate with outstanding professionals and organizations in the United States.
You will have the opportunity to work for different employers or projects in the country, allowing you to explore diverse opportunities and expand your professional horizons.
The O-1 visa can grant you an extended stay in the United States, giving you additional time to develop your projects, participate in educational activities, and contribute to the professional community in your field of expertise.
Although the O-1 Visa does not allow family members to enter the country, the holder's spouse or partner may apply for a dependent Visa, allowing them to live and work in the country for the duration of their spouse's O-1 Visa.
This provides an additional benefit by keeping families together during the candidate's professional experience in the United States!
Due to its versatility, this type of visa allows plenty of room for
creativity in creating a successful petition. O-1 visa applicants
must be leaders or high achievers in their field and be recognized
as such by their peers.
For example, one of the requirements in an O-1 petition is an advisory opinion from an appropriate oversight entity, such as a peer group, labor organization, or business organization, demonstrating the extraordinary abilities of the petitioner.
When no such peer group exists, for example, in the case of
tattoo artists or CEOs of speedboat manufacturers (both
cases successfully brought by CSA), then peer letters are
necessary to establish the special position of the beneficiary in
the specific industry.
Proof of possible employment is usually achieved through a copy of the employment contract and a description of the work to be performed.
An advantage of the O-1 visa is that there is no maximum period of stay, which is a limitation for the P-1 visa since the length of the status is determined by the length of time necessary for the alien to perform their functions or activities. with the applicant’s employer.
An initial stay is limited to no more than three years, provided the applicant can demonstrate that the O-1 will have that long for the proposed job.
This timeframe may be extended by one-year increments thereafter, and O-1 visa status may be used as a platform for an application for a green card and then permanent residence.
To be considered as a foreigner with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education,
athletics, or business, the foreign applicant must demonstrate international level in
their discipline, through a complete documented accreditation of their condition.
Generally, the applicant must have received prizes or awards of international category such as the Nobel Prize, or meet a series of requirements that may be, among others:
In addition, in order to apply for an O-1 visa, the applicant must be sponsored by a company or agent in the United States.
*This information corresponds to September 2022
Relevant contributions related to science, academia, or business.
Authorship of articles of an academic nature in their discipline and published in professional publications.
High income and other benefits from your activity.
Belonging to professional associations that demand outstanding achievements from their members.
Accredit having received prizes and awards of national or international recognition.
It is also valid to prove that you are the author of debates of an academic nature in top-level media.
So how do you show that you have some kind of extraordinary ability in science, business, education, or athletics?
This can be in fine or visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, etc.
Additionally, those who support the main act of an art project qualify,
such as sound designers, orchestrators, costume designers, stage technicians, etc.
To qualify for the O-1 visa as an artist, you must meet at least one of these conditions
If you have verified these requirements and meet any of them, then you must provide proof to your employer. Your employer will have to prove that you have the extraordinary ability by submitting the test you gave them access to.
Having won a highly acclaimed awards such as a Grammy, an Oscar, an Emmy, etc.
You will be a leading person in a production or event that has been reviewed by critics.
Has been featured in review magazines, newspapers, and other publications for his excellent performances.
Has been a part of highly reviewed production parts that have high ratings, box office receipts, etc.
Has had a high salary for his services compared to others in his field.
In addition to demonstrating extraordinary ability, you must also demonstrate that you are coming to the United States to work in your area of expertise. This means that he must be able to show that he has a job or a contract to work in the United States.
If you do not have a job or contract, you can still get an O-1 visa if you can show that you are coming to the United States to participate in a competition or event related to your area of expertise.
Once you have fulfilled these requirements, you can begin the process of applying for an O-1 visa. The first step is to submit an application form, which you can do online.
You will also need to submit supporting documentation, such as evidence of your extraordinary ability and evidence of your plans to work in the United States.
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your application is approved, you will be issued an O-1 visa.
The O-1 visa allows you to stay in the United States for up to three years. He can extend his stay for two more years if he shows that he continues to work in his area of expertise.
The O-1 visa does not allow you to bring family members to the United States. However, your spouse or partner may be eligible for a dependent visa, which would allow them to live and work in the United States while you are on an Ol visa. It has to be done through an employer or sponsor in the US.
The sponsor, whether an individual or a company, must petition the individual stating that she wants him to come to the United States to work for/with the sponsor. It can be granted for a maximum initial term of 3 years but it can be extended. This term is tied to the term of time that you are interested in working in the United States.
Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures, or television industry);
Individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry
Persons accompanying an O-1 artist or athlete to attend a specific event or performance
Persons who are spouses or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders
Copy of form I-94
Copy of birth certificate
Copies of study certificates
Transcripts or notes from the University
Letter from the employer in support of visa or visa extension
Evidence that the beneficiary has received a major award, internationally recognized as the Nobel Prize
Published material in professional publications, newspapers, or other major media about the recipient and the recipient’s work in the field for which classification is sought.
Authorship Of Scholarly Articles In Professional Journals Or Other Major Media In The Field For Which Classification Is Requested
Be a member of associations in the field for which classification is sought that require outstanding achievement, judged by recognized national or international experts in the field of performance.
Have received awards of national or international recognition or awards for excellence in the field of performance.
Significant original contributions from the field of performance, whether academic or business.
A high salary or other remuneration for services demonstrated in contracts or other reliable evidence.
Participation on a panel, or an individual basis, as a judge of the work of others in the same field or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought.
If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation,
the petitioner may present comparable evidence to establish eligibility.
*This information corresponds to September 2022
The petitioner must file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with the USCIS department listed in the form instructions.
Form I-129 must be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment, and may be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien’s services.
A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the beneficiary field.
If the O-1 petition is for an individual with extraordinary film or television cinematographic achievement, the inquiry must come from an appropriate union and management organization with experience in the beneficiary’s field.
A copy of any written contract, or a summary of an oral contract or agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
A US employer, a US agent, or a foreign employer through a US agent must file (see Form 1-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker) on your behalf, along with any required evidence according to the instructions on the form.
Your employer or agent cannot file the petition more than one year before you need their services. To avoid delays, your employer or agent must file Form I-129 at least 45 days before your date of employment.
If your employer or agent can show that there is no appropriate peer group, including a labor organization, then we will base our decision on the evidence they submit in support of Form I-129.
We may waive a consultation if you have extraordinary ability in the field of the arts and are applying for readmission to perform similar services within two years of the date of the prior consultation.
Your employer or agent must submit a request for exemption and a copy of the previous consultation with the request.
For more information on inquiries for O nonimmigrants, see the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 7.
The petitioner must explain the nature of the events or activities, the start and end dates of the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities, if applicable.
The petitioner must establish that there are events or activities in their field of the extraordinary capacity for the requested validity period, such as an itinerary for a tour or series of events.
A US agent can be your actual employer, your and the employer’s representative, or a person or entity authorized by the employer to act for, or on behalf of, the employer as your agent. Detailed information on USCIS policy regarding agent petitioners can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 3.
The petitioner must provide evidence demonstrating his extraordinary ability
in the sciences, arts, business, education, or sport, or his extraordinary
achievements in the film industry.
The file must include at least three different types of documentation that correspond to those listed in the regulations, or comparable evidence in certain circumstances, and the evidence must, taken together, demonstrate that you meet the relevant standards for classification.
Detailed information about how USCIS evaluates evidence to determine eligibility and whether to come to the United States for further work in the area of extraordinary ability can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 4.
If you need to extend your stay to continue or complete the same event or activity, your employer or agent must file the following documents with USCIS:
To help us process your request, the statement must describe the event or activity that was the basis for the original approval and confirm that the extension is necessary for you to continue or complete the same event or activity described.
Your spouse and children must file Form I-539, Application for Extension/Change of nonimmigrant status, and submit all supporting documents to extend your stay.
For more information, see our page on Form I-539.
Being a client of Visa Franchise requires having an advanced level of English and/or Spanish and/or, in limited cases, Mandarin.
Although Visa Franchise strives to meet all the needs and requests of its clients, opportunities for non-intermediate English speakers seeking full-time work are extremely limited due to a specific requirement from the franchisor(s) to conduct all franchise discovery and operational processes in English.
If you are an O-1 nonimmigrant in the United States and want to
change employers, the new employer must file Form I-129 with the
USCIS office listed in the instructions for the form. If an agent
filed your original petition, your new employer must file an amended
petition with proof that it is your new employer and a request
for an extension of stay.
A material change in terms and conditions of employment
If there have been any material changes, other than the addition of additional performances or commitments requiring someone of extraordinary ability, in the terms and conditions of your employment or eligibility, your employer or agent must file an amended Form I-129 at the service center where the original request was filed
There are special rules for professional athletes with O-1. If
you are transferred from one team to another, employment authorization
will continue with the new team for 30 days, during which time the new
employer must file a new Form I-129. Filing the new Form I-129 within
these 30 days extends your employment authorization at least until we
process your petition.
If the new employer does not file a new Form I-129 within 30 days of the exchange, you lose your employment authorization. You will also lose your employment authorization if we reject your new Form I-129.
If your employer terminates your employment for reasons other than your voluntary resignation, you must pay the reasonable cost of transportation back to your last place of residence before entering the United States. If an agent filed the petition for the employer, the agent, and the employer are equally responsible for paying these costs.
The USCIS department fee for form I-129. Additionally, if you want to request expedited
processing (“Premium Processing), you must pay the fee for form I-907.
Click the link below to check the US Immigration Service fees as they change regularly:uscis.gov/forms
After you have completed your interview, you will need to wait for the visa to be processed. The usual O-1 visa processing time is two to three months.
O-Ill visa holders may study in the United States, but may not work unless they obtain separate employment authorization.
If you think you may qualify for an O-1 visa, we encourage you to speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can evaluate your case and help you navigate the O visa application process.
Applying for an O visa can be complex, and it’s important to make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements.