• When would I use this type of visa?
O visas are for individuals who have extraordinary ability in the arts, business, education, science or athletics and want to come to the United States temporarily to work in that area.
• How do I obtain one of these types of visas?
Before you apply, you must first identify which O visa is right for you. There are two types of O visas: O-1A is for extraordinary individuals in the field of science, business or athletics and O-1B are for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry. Once you have determined which O visa you should apply for, you must then find a sponsor to file the petition for you in the United States along with obtain work (already contracted for) in the area you are extraordinary.
In order to determine if you are “Extraordinary” you must have received a major internationally recognized award (such as the Nobel Prize), or provide evidence to support at least 3 of the requirements listed below.
Our firm is ready to assist you with qualifying for an O visa and all other types of non-immigrant visas. Contact us to request an initial consultation today.
O-1A requirements include evidence of:
- Membership in associations in the related field, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
- Published material about you in professional or major trade publications or major media related to the field of work. Must include the title, date, and author of publication, and any necessary translation;
- Participation on a panel as a judge of the work of others in the same field as your intended area of work;
- Any original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field, which includes any published scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media;
- Evidence of the beneficiary’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media;
- Played a critical or essential role for organizations and establishments that have distinguished reputation; or
- High salary or other remuneration for services
However, if you want to be considered “Extraordinary” in the field of arts you must have received, or been nominated for, a significant national or international award in your particular field (such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy, or Director’s Guild Award), or provide evidence to support at least 3 of the requirements listed below.
O-1B requirements includes evidence:
- Has performed, and will perform, in a lead or starring role in productions, events, organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation, as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
- Achieving national or international recognition for achievements, as evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials;
- Has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation, as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
- Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, evidenced by box office receipts, motion pictures or television ratings, and other occupational achievements;
- Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the specific field.; or
- High salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field
It is important to provide more than enough evidence to support the criteria you are able to prove. One article or one letter will not suffice to meet the requirements demanded for an O visa petition. USCIS looks to the totality of the evidence you submit to make the determination if you are in fact “extraordinary” for O visa purposes. For further information on qualifying for the O visa please read some of our blogs “How to Make it In America and Stay There” or “Do You Think You are Extraordinary – Work Visas for Artists“
Support personnel are also able to obtain O-2 visas to accompany the O-1 beneficiaries if they can evidence that they are critical to the O-1.
• How long may I stay in the United States with this type of visa?
O visas may be granted for up to three years, but no more than the period you have work in the United States. Therefore, for example, if you only have one concert that you will perform then USCIS will only issue you the O visa for that one concert.