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O-1 Visas: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability Providing a Beacon of Hope for a Better Life

O-1 Visa Attorney in Fort Myers

Representing Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

The O-1 non-immigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.

Hurtado Immigration Law Firm can help you apply for an O-1 visa. Our Fort Myers immigration attorney is passionate about helping foreign nationals pursue their professional dreams here in the U.S.

Contact us online or call (239) 800-0580 to learn more about the O-1 visa and get started on your application.

General Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction, which is qualified by a high level of achievement in the field of the arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. Eligible individuals will generally be described as prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered. The person should be recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.

Evidentiary Criteria for O-1A

In order to prove your merit for an O-1A visa, you must provide substantial evidence that you have received a major, internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize.

You may also provide evidence of at least three of the following:

  • Membership in associations in the field that require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field
  • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation

If the above criteria do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish his or her eligibility.

Evidentiary Criteria for O-1B

Just like for an O-1A, individuals seeking an O-1B must provide substantial evidence of their skill and accomplishment in their field. You should be prepared to show evidence that you have received, or have been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field – such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy, or Director’s Guild Award.

You may also provide evidence of at least three of the following:

  • Performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements
  • Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications
  • 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.
  • A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by indicators such as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications
  • Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the beneficiary is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author’s authority, expertise, and knowledge of the beneficiary’s achievements
  • A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence

If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation in the arts, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility (this exception does not apply to the motion picture or television industry).

Post-Petition Approval

Once the visa petition is approved for O-1/O-2 by USCIS, the beneficiary can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa. The Department of State (DOS) establishes visa application processing and issuance fees.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

The initial period of stay is up to three years. If you request an extension of stay, USCIS will determine the time necessary to accomplish the initial event or activity in increments of up to one year.

As an O non-immigrant, the beneficiary may be admitted to the United States for the validity period of the petition, plus a period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. The beneficiary may only engage in authorized employment during the validity period of the petition.

Family of O-1 & O-2 Visa Holders

Any accompanying spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an O-3 non-immigrant visa, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the O-1/O-2 non-immigrant. They may not work in the United States under this classification, but they may engage in full- or part-time study on an O-3 visa.

For more information on O-1 and O-2 visas, contact our Fort Myers visa attorney at (239) 800-0580.

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Client Testimonials
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