O-1 visas are available to persons of proven extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. To be considered a person of extraordinary ability, you must have sustained national or international acclaim in your field. Individuals who work in motion pictures or television production need to show a record of extraordinary achievement. The individual must be coming to the US to work or perform in the area of their extraordinary achievement.
The O1 visa allows you to come to the US to work at a particular event or project, for the length of time it is necessary to complete the said event and project. The O-1 visa is a temporary work visa and is granted for a maximum of 3 years, with unlimited extensions in one-year increments.
The O-1 visa is divided into two categories: O-1A and O-1B. The O-1A visa refers to persons who have “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.” The O-1B visas are for persons in motion picture or TV production who have “a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement.” To help you determine whether you qualify for an O-1 visa and learn more about the O1 visa application process, our DC O-1 visa attorney is available for a consultation.
KEY BENEFITS OF AN O-1 VISA:
- O-1 visas are not limited to an annual numerical limit, unlike H-1B visas
- There is no prevailing wage issue. This can be a great advantage to a startup company that does not have a revenue stream yet
- No minimum degree is required like with H-1B visas
- No specific citizenship required like with E-2 visas
- O-1 visa allows a dual intent. This means that the applicant is not required to keep their foreign residency and is not precluded from applying for permanent residency. This also means that if the entrepreneur qualifies for an O visa, he or she may also qualify for an EB-1 extraordinary ability green card. An EB-1 applicant can petition for themselves and there is no job requirement
O-1A Visa for Persons of Extraordinary Ability in Science, Education, Business, or Athletics
To meet the O1 visa standards, the person must demonstrate that he or she have extraordinary ability and that they have received and sustained national/international acclaim. This can be demonstrated by an internationally recognized award. For example: an Oscar or an Olympic medal. The requirement can also be demonstrated by proving at least 3 of the following criteria:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized awards or prizes for excellence in the field of endeavor
- Membership in organizations that require its members to have outstanding achievements or expertise in their field of endeavor
- Published materials about the applicant in professional or major trade publications. Appearance or published materials about the individual in major media will also count
- Judgment of the work of others. This requirement can be met by serving as a reviewer/referee for articles to be published; invitations to serve on discussion or advisory panels, etc.
- Original scientific or scholarly work of major significance. Athletic or business-related contributions of major significance
- Authorship of scholarly work
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity at an organization with a distinguished reputation
- High salary or remuneration in comparison to others similarly employed in the field
- If the above criteria do not apply to the individual’s situation, other comparable evidence establishing extraordinary achievement can be submitted
Contact our determined and dedicated O1 visa lawyer in Washington, DC to discuss your case and get your temporary worker O-1A visa process started!
O-1A Visas for Entrepreneurs with Extraordinary Ability
O-1 visa presents numerous benefits to entrepreneurs compared to other employment visas. While O-1 visa has high standards, entrepreneurs with significant achievements, documented experience or excellent academic credentials such as a Ph.D. graduate or postdoc should consider O1 visa as a viable option. Our DC O-1 visa attorney can review your resume to help you determine whether you are currently eligible for an O1 visa or what you can do to become eligible in the next few years.
O-1 visa requires an employer-employee relationship and no self-employment is allowed. However, for entrepreneurs who own the company, this requirement can be overcome by creating a separation between the entrepreneur and the company through a board of directors or an agent.
O-1 Extraordinary ability entrepreneurs can increase their chances of obtaining an O-1 visa by writing articles that get published, give speeches and presentations, judge the work of others, among other things. If you would like to learn about the O-1 visa process or discuss your qualifications, contact our DC O-1 visa attorney to get your case started today.
O-1A Visas for Persons of Extraordinary Ability in the Arts
If you are applying as an O-1 alien of extraordinary ability in the arts, first, it is important to ensure your work fits the definition of art. The “art” is defined broadly as “any field of creative activity endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, culinary arts and performing arts.” 8 CFR §214.2(o)(3)(ii).
Persons engaged in the field of arts include not only the principal creators and performers, but other essential persons such as directors, set designers, lighting designers, sounds designers, choreographers, conductors, orchestrators, coaches, musical supervisors, makeup artists, etc.
You must also be coming to the US to perform in the area of extraordinary ability and must be recognized as prominent in your field of endeavor. “Prominence” can be demonstrated by receipt of significant national or international awards or prizes, such as an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, etc. Alternatively, your prominence can be demonstrated by at least 3 events:
- Performance as a lead or starring participant in productions or events that have a distinguished reputation. The distinguished reputation of the event can be proven by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, endorsement, or publication contracts
- Critical reviews or other published materials about you in major newspapers, magazines, journals
- Performance or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation
- A record of commercial or critically acclaimed success. This can be proven by ratings, standing in the field, office box receipts, etc.
- Significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, agencies, experts in the field
- High salary or remuneration
- Other alternative, but comparable evidence that will establish your prominence in the field of endeavor
If you are unsure what evidence you should submit for the O-1 visa application or how to make your case stronger, our knowledgeable DC O-1 visa attorney can review your documents and advise you on how to improve your chances of obtaining an O-1 visa.
O-1B visa includes persons of extraordinary ability in the motion picture and television industry.
O-1 Visa Application Process
Persons applying for an O-1 visa cannot petition for themselves. In cases of self-employment or a foreign employer, a US agent has to file the visa petition on worker’s behalf. An agent is typically used by self-employed artists or entertainers to arrange short-term employment with multiple employers. A US employer or agent files a visa petition for a nonimmigrant worker (Form I-129).
The O visa petition (I-129) can be filed up to one year before a scheduled event, competition, or performance. The object of the I-129 petition is to prove that you will qualify for an O visa, that you have the right background and skills to match the job requirements. Further, appropriate labor unions or similar organizations have to be consulted to confirm your eligibility.
If you are in the US on other lawful status, then along with the I-129 form, your employer or agent will need to file a change of status form requesting to change your status from your current temporary visa to an O status.
If you are outside of the US, once your I-129 visa petition is approved, the next step is to obtain an O visa from the US consulate in your country.
The O-1 temporary work visa does not lead to permanent residence (i.e. green card). If you would like to learn about your options for a permanent work visa or a green card through employment, see our employment immigration page, as well as the start up immigration page.
DC O-1 Visa Attorney Can Assist You With The Following Services:
- O-1A Visas
- O-1B Visas
- O-2 Visas
- O-3 Visas
- Change of Status to an O visa while in the US
- Application for an O visa at a US consulate abroad
- I-129 Petition assistance
HOW CAN A DC O-1 VISA ATTORNEY HELP YOU?
Every case has its own set of facts and circumstances. We can help you to determine your O-1A and O-1B visa eligibility, collect all necessary documents, prepare the entire application, and submit it to the proper agencies. Contact our office to schedule your consultation with our DC O-1 visa attorney and get your temporary worker Extraordinary Ability O-1 Visa process started!