Who is Eligible for an O1 Visa?

An O1 Visa caters to people who possess extraordinary ability in particular fields. Such a visa is one of the most distinguished U.S. work visas due to its countless advantages and flexibilities compared to other identical categories.

An O1 visa has two tiers known as the O-1A and O-1B. The O-1A visa is structured specifically for foreigners with extraordinary ability in various fields, which include:

  • Athletics
  • Business
  • Education
  • Science

On the other hand the O-1B visa is for individuals who have extraordinary abilities in arts or have recorded extraordinary achievements in the television or motion industry. Additionally, the O-1 is a dual intent visa which allows for beneficiaries to adjust their status from a temporary resident to a lawful permanent resident status. If all the requirements of a green card are met you may then also submit a green card petition for your family members. To do so you must first have an immigration legal representative advise you on what steps to follow.

Requirements for an O1 Visa

To qualify for an O1 visa you must meet certain conditions. First you are to show evidence of your ability or achievement of national or international acclaim. You must also provide evidence of at least three of the following supporting documents:

  • An award of excellence in your field of expertise that is recognized nationally or internationally
  • Membership in a respectable association in your field
  • Substantial evidence of contribution of major importance in your field
  • Published material in accredited and professional publications
  • Solid proof of employment in a critical position within an organization with an esteemed reputation in your field

What Does Extraordinary Ability Mean?

In the context of an O1 Visa, “extraordinary ability” makes reference to a higher level of expertise that is largely uncommon in a particular field or industry. In other words, it is the type of skill set, ability, or achievement demonstrated only by a small percentage of professionals. What decides extraordinary ability varies from one industry to another.

To be considered as a professional with extraordinary ability, you must demonstrate certain levels of distinction in your field. Your skills as well as your level of competence must receive national and international accolades. Your skills must also be held in high regard and must be well-known in the field or industry. You must have on hand convincing supporting documents that distinguish you from your peers in the industry.

Applying for an O1 Visa

When applying for an O1 visa an employer or organization will need to petition on your behalf. Your employer will be required to file an I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker along with supporting documentation with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition, the petition will need to be submitted with the following prerequisites:

  • Consultation
  • Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement
  • Contract
  • Itineraries

If you are not sure what these requisites are, ask an immigration lawyer to explain what they mean and what you need to do before filing your application.

Talk to You Local Attorney

Before you can even enter the U.S. with an O1 Visa you will need the expertise of an immigration lawyer to help you with the application process. Gambacorta Law Office and team are very well seasoned in U.S. immigration law. We will gladly navigate you through the entire process until a decision is made on your application. Do not hesitate to contact us at 847 443 9303.