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O-1 Visa

Extraordinary Ability

An O-1 visa permits foreigners at the very top of the arts, sciences, sports, education, business, motion picture, or television industries to enter the U.S. for work for an initial period of up to three years.

O-1 visa extensions can be granted if the person of extraordinary ability is required in the U.S. beyond three years. A significant reason to consider an O-1 visa is that essential assistants of the person with extraordinary ability may be eligible for an O-2 visa, which also permits them entry into the U.S. for work. For example, a doctor might be able to get an O-2 visa for an essential lab assistant.

O-1 visa expert lawyers at Passage Immigration Law provide professional help and guidance to meet the requirements of individuals in the process of getting O visas from the immigration authorities.

If you are seeking immigration status under the O-1 Extraordinary Ability classification, schedule a consultation to discuss your background and eligibility at (503) 427-8243, or you may schedule a consultation here.

O-1 visa qualifications

An O-1 is an exclusive non-immigrant visa reserved for people with extraordinary abilities in the science, arts, education, business, or athletics fields. People who are eligible for an O-1 visa are generally well-known in their fields, including professional athletes or famous artists.

A lot of work goes into preparing an O-1 visa. After all, applicants must prove that they’re extraordinary! So, how do you prove you qualify for an O-1 visa?

Receipt of Prizes or Awards

One way to prove your extraordinary abilities is to show off your trophies. When preparing your O-1 application, gather copies of awards confirmation letters, certificates, pictures of award plaques or trophies, public announcements, etc. Also, include some information about the award itself. For example, who presented the award? Who else did they consider? How many people compete for the award? How many of these awards are given out each year? Who else has won this award?

Membership in exclusive associations

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards
  • Membership in exclusive associations
  • Published material about you or your work
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business contributions in your field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in your field
  • A high salary or other remuneration compared with others in your field
  • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of others
  • Employment in a leading or critical role for organizations with distinguished reputations

If the given standards do not apply to the beneficiary’s work, the petitioner may present comparable evidence to establish eligibility.

O-1 visa process

To get an O-1 visa, an employer must file form I-129 along with a written advisory opinion from a labor union or industry peer group. If an O-1 visa is sought for an individual in television, a written advisory opinion must be obtained from an appropriate labor union and management organization. A copy of the agreement between the O-1 visa beneficiary and the employer must be filed. If the agreement is oral, a summation of the terms must be filed.

Finally, an itinerary is required to be filed adding an explanation of the type of events the visa beneficiary will engage in along with their starting and ending dates. Once your O-1 visa lawyers file all the data and documents, USCIS will evaluate the application and make a decision. Due to the processing time of an O-1 visa, it is vital that everything is filed at least 45 days before entry into the U.S. is sought.

A qualified O-1 visa lawyer can make sure all your evidence and documents are submitted according to the deadlines and regulations.

Validity period of an O-1 visa

Initially, an O-1 visa can be valid for up to three years, and if the O-1 project is ongoing, it may be extended in one-year increments. O-1 visa holders may be permitted to the U.S. for the validity period of the petition, plus up to ten days before the validity period starts and ten days after the period of validity ends.

An extension of status can be filed for beneficiaries in the United States whose projects are ongoing. In case there is a material change in the conditions of the employment contract, a new non-immigrant worker petition must be filed with the USCIS requesting an acceptance of the change.

Contact an O-1 visa lawyer

We are avid advocates of all those seeking to work and live here in the United States, particularly those with extraordinary abilities who will do nothing but stimulate our society, economy, culture, and country. If you think you are eligible for an O-1 visa, simply contact our expert immigration lawyer today to schedule your initial consultation.

We’ll communicate throughout the process with you, your agent and/ or employer, and any other relevant third parties like recommenders and/ or other experts and professionals.

Our O-1 lawyers’ experience benefits you in various key areas, and we:

  • Help you in gathering the proper documentation and evidence
  • Prepare and submit all USCIS forms and documentation
  • Monitor the entire application process
  • Clarify different options and scenarios surrounding your case
  • Classify the application and ensure requirements are met
  • Communicate with all related parties and USCIS throughout the entire process

With offices in Portland, Oregon, Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, our seasoned immigration attorneys serve clients nationwide and can help you file your petition successfully. Contact us today at (503) 427-8243, or you may schedule a consultation here.


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