Are there any advantages of an O-1 visa? And what advantages?

The main benefit of this visa is that there is no limit on the length of your stay in the U.S. You can work abroad for an unlimited period – potentially.

Actually, you will be limited by your job as the visa will last as long as the job does. The O-1 visa offers an initial period of stay of maximum three years. However, if necessary, your visa can be extended for another one year. In this case you need to present evidence that you really need to stay in the USA and complete your job.

What are the other benefits?

  • An O-1 visa is designed to allow you entry into the United States, be engaged in your favorite job and get paid for it.
  • The O-1 visa covers various fields of activities and it has no annual quota which imposed on the Н-1В. Important: to get an O-1 visa, you need a U.S. employer or agent to sponsor you.
  • Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 can get an O-3 visa. But the O-3 visa holders are not allowed to work.
  • The O-1 visa holders have a chance to stay in the USA and get a permanent green card while they work in the U.S. And they do not need either Labor certification or confirmation of an employer or sponsor. Important: required to obtain an O-1 visa.

What is required to obtain an O-1 visa?

If you possess the extraordinary ability in the field of sciences or education, you have to present the evidence that you have received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least (3) three of ten points of the Immigration Law to recognize you as the individual who possesses extraordinary ability.

If your specialization is the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry, you will have to take the trouble. An artist or musician must be a recognized for his/her achievements and famous in the art community. The individual who possesses the extraordinary ability affiliated with motion picture or television industry has received international awards such as Grammy or present evidence of at least three of ten points of the Immigration Law.

The individual who possesses the extraordinary ability affiliated with athletics must be the winner and have gold medals of at least national level, but it is much better of the international level (for example, an Olympic gold medal or other major athletic award).

We will return to this matter a little later. First it should be noticed that all individuals eligible for applying for a O-1 visa are divided into categories depending on their field of activities.

O-1A category

This category is for those who possess extraordinary ability in the field of:

  • sciences and education;
  • business;
  • athletics.

If you are the one of this small percentage of the individuals who are the best specialists in any of these fields, it will not cause you any hassle to prove it. The main thing is your arguments to be convincing and to have necessary supporting documents, otherwise you will not obtain the visa.

The availability of an international award in the list of possible evidence is optional, but desirable. If you have not ever been awarded an international prize, then you have to present evidence of at least three points of the Immigration Law as regards extraordinary ability.

Your O-1A petition documents must include:

  • Internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, gold medal of the World Championship in a particular sport, etc.
  • Other nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards.
  • Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements to join or special invitation.
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or newspapers about you and your work in the field, your projects and students.
  • Participation on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the field or an allied field.
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media.
  • Evidence that you have performed in a leading or critical role for organization or establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
  • Evidence of high salary or other remuneration in your field organization as compared to other individuals who work in a similar position in a similar organization in the country of residence.
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, or business or athletics -related contributions of major significance in the field.

O-1B and O-1C categories

These categories are easier to combine because the evidence is the same. The individual who possesses the extraordinary ability and/or achievements affiliated with the arts. Those who qualify for the O-1C category have succeeded in motion picture or television industry.

If you have succeeded in the field of the art, then your achievements must be “exceptional”, beyond the ordinary framework. To be a famous person in the art world is not enough.

As regards the individuals who are involved in motion picture or television industry, their extraordinary achievements demonstrate that the product you produce is a sequence higher in comparison with that considered respectable in this field.

With evidence of your extraordinary ability in the categories O-1B and O-1C, things are the same as in the first category: the availability of an international award in the list of possible evidence is optional, but desirable. If you have not ever been awarded an international prize, then you have to present evidence of at least three points of the Immigration Law as regards extraordinary ability.

Documents required for
O-1B and O-1C categories

  • Evidence that you have received, or been nominated for, significant international awards, such as an Academy Award (Oscar) or Grammy, for example.
  • Other significant national awards or prizes.
  • Evidence that you have performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant.
  • Your achievements are recognized in the world as shown by published materials about you in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications.
  • A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes. As shown by such indicators as rating or box office receipts.
  • Evidence of significant recognition for your achievements from experts in your field.
  • Evidence of your participation in exhibitions, shows, demonstrations.
  • Evidence that you have performed and will perform services in a lead, starring, or critical role for professional organization or establishment that have a distinguished reputation.
  • Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements to join or special invitation.

O-1 petition documents

In addition to documents confirming your personal achievements, you must submit other documents required to obtain an O1 visa of any category:

  • Recommendations from representatives of professional organizations, associations in your field, as well as from experts, well-known and respected people, state officials.
  • Contractual agreement with the U.S. employer or letter confirming your future cooperation.
  • Your personal application with a description of your plans and projects you are going to implement upon arrival in the United States on a visa O 1. For example, if you have been involved in some project, you need to give details of it – the project concept, features, plan, time limits.

What is the purpose of the petition for an alien?

In addition to the above documents, a petition must be prepared for an O-1 visa. The petition is to be filed by:

  • the U.S. employer or agent;
  • a foreign employer working with an American agent.

The petition is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service for consideration.

A beneficiary for an O-1 visa must meet a number of criteria, as can be seen from the list of required evidence. These criteria differ depending on the field of activities. Therefore, before collecting necessary documents, carefully check the list of the documents and determine which of them related to you.

What may obstruct your O-1 visa?

A serious limitation that applies to anyone who apply for an O1 visa is the need to get an expert opinion. People who possess authority in your field must confirm that you really have outstanding, extraordinary ability.

You can avoid many difficulties if you consult professionals. We can help you to gather all necessary documents, advise you how to get expert opinion quickly and how to avoid unnecessary obstacles. Find a worthy use of talent.

Green Card for those who possess extraordinary ability:

The requirements for alien applicants for green card in the United States do not differ much from the requirements for an O-1 visa. However, there are some considerable differences.

  1. The applicants for green card do not have to have an employer. The applicant with extraordinary ability and achievements can file petition as an individual and support the package of documents submitted by describing his/her intentions and plans to continue the activities in his/her field of extraordinary ability upon arrival in the USA.
  2. Only national recognition and documentary confirmation of 3 points out of all listed are sufficient to obtain the O-1 visa, then to obtain the green card, you must show the achievements of the international level and confirm at least 7-8 points from the list, otherwise you will be refused.

To obtain a residence permit in the United States, an alien must be the outstanding person in his/her home country as regards his/her field of activity. Our goal is to prove that our client has achieved the highest level, he has extraordinary ability, and, having arrived in the USA, he/she will make a unique contribution to the economy and culture of the States, and improve the country’s reputation.

Is the assistance of a lawyer so necessary?

That is true, as your chances of obtaining an O-1 visa and a residence permit in the United States are sharply reduced without the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer. As it is related to the elite category, annually, visas and green cards granted to a very small number of people having extraordinary ability.

How small is this number? Less than half a percent out of a hundred possible, according to statistics.

Meanwhile, the O1 visa for the people who possess extraordinary ability is one of the most important – at least because this sphere of human activity is always connected with earnings. If you are refused a visa, you lose a certain amount of money and several months of preparation. A retry also will be time-taking procedure.

Even a properly prepared package of documents cannot ensure absolute guarantee. The standard is very high, and not everyone can up to it. Sure, anyone can call himself /herself a person with extraordinary ability, but it does not mean that such person really meet the requirements for obtaining an O-1 visa and green card.

How can a qualified lawyer help?

  • carefully evaluates the case to decide whether you should apply for an O -1 visa or a green card or it is more reasonable to improve the case;
  • collects evidence to facilitate getting a O -1 visa and your moving to the United States;
  • facilitates your getting expert opinion from your US colleagues as soon as possible;
  • assists in collecting documents for petition;
  • executes a request for premium processing of your application if necessary. The premium processing will take 15 calendar days only.