O1 Visa: Extraordinary Abilities
At Muston & Jack, P.C., since 1985, our lawyers have helped thousands of individuals to successfully navigate the O1 visa process to obtain O1A and O-1 B nonimmigrant visas. Our experience with non-immigrant temporary visas and with all aspects of U.S. immigration law can make a difference for you. To have your qualifications for the O1 visa evaluated by an experienced lawyer, contact our law offices today.
The O1 visa is not for everyone. Generally, the O1 nonimmigrant visa is only available to individuals who possess extraordinary ability in certain fields such as business, athletics, sciences, or the arts. In addition, the visa may be available to those who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement or are nationally recognized in entertainment or other industries.
Determining Eligibility for an O1 Visa
The key factor to obtaining an O1 visa is showing the “extraordinary ability” in your field. Generally, you have to show that you are part of that small percentage on top of your field. For example, a professional athlete or a movie star.
Proving that you have extraordinary skills in other fields like business or education can be very difficult. In these cases, your attorney can help gather the relevant supporting documents and evidence to show that you are at the top of your field. This can include awards, press clippings, and anything else that supports your extraordinary status.
For whom is the O1A Visa appropriate?
Scientists, educators, businesspersons, and athletes who wish to qualify for the visa must show three of the following:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes/awards for excellence in the field;
- Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievement of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts;
- Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien;
- Participation on a panel or as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization;
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance;
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media;
- Current or previous employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation; or,
- Past or proffered high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
O1B Visa for Artists and Entertainers (except TV or movie stars) who wish to qualify for the visa must show three of the following:
- Has performed/will perform services as a lead/starring participant in productions/events with distinguished reputations as shown by critical reviews, ads, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
- National/international recognition for achievement through critical reviews, other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major papers, trade journals/magazines, etc.;
- Has performed in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by media articles, testimonials, etc.;
- Has record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success;
- Has achieved significant recognition from organizations, critics, government agencies, recognized experts;
- Has commanded or will command a high salary/other remuneration in relation to others in the field.
Spouses and children of the O1 visa holder may obtain an O3 visa to enter and remain in the US. The O3 visa holder may attend school but if he or she wishes to work, he or she must change his or her status to obtain a work visa.
Applying for an O1 Visa
The petitioner for an O1 visa will need to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. Some documentation to include with your application includes:
- Consultation: This would consist of a written opinion by your peers that you actually have extraordinary ability in your field. Generally, the consultation can come from a labor union or management organization.
- Contract: This is the agreement between the sponsor and the applicant describing the services to be provided and duties performed. For example, a professional athlete will sign a contract to play basketball or baseball. Or a researcher will have an employment agreement with a university.
- Itinerary: An itinerary can help explain what you will be doing in the U.S. For example, it may describe your activities as well as provide an end date to your stay.
“Helping you to obtain the right visa, when you need it”
When you contact our firm for an initial consultation, we will take the time to educate and explain the immigration laws, regulations and the visa application procedures for your particular case. As a client, you will receive personal attention and work directly with an experienced O1 Visa immigration attorney who will be able to answer any questions you have and keep you informed and aware of new developments as your case moves forward.
For all of your legal immigration needs, contact the immigration lawyers of Muston & Jack, P.C., at our San Francisco, San Jose or Pasadena California law offices to schedule an initial consultation.