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What is an O-1 Visa?

The O-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in one of the following three categories to enter the U.S. and engage in the official activity:

  • Sciences, education, business, and athletics
  • Arts
  • Motion picture or TV industries

The worker must have a U.S. employer that will employ the worker in his / her area of extraordinary ability. The petitioning employer is required to
(i) prove that the worker has “extraordinary ability” and
(ii) submit a “written consultation”.

Who qualifies for an O-1 Visa?

To qualify for the O-1 visa, you must demonstrate that the worker is “sustained national or international acclaim”. To be sustained national or international acclaim, the worker must meet defined criteria set by the U.S. immigration law. Typically, the documentation is to establish that the worker’s expertise places them among the best in their field of endeavor.

What are the benefits of applying under this visa category?

There is no quota on the number of O-1 visas that may be issued every year; therefore it can be obtained any time of the year. Another advantage of the O-1 visa is that it may be renewed indefinitely and the worker is able to travel in and out of the U.S. freely.

How can an attorney help in this process?

Documenting for the O-1 visa requires meeting precise criteria with appropriate documentation, which a trained business immigration attorney is able to evaluate. Further, if an improper or less than ideal written consultation is provided, the processing of the petition may be delayed or denied.

Employers seeking to bring in the best and the brightest can’t afford any holdups and would be best served if a competent professional took care of the O-1 petition.

To discuss if this is the right visa for you and if you can qualify under this category, please feel free to contact us.