Are you a foreign citizen and also a brilliant scientist, top chef, or exceptional artist? Are you the next Michael Jordan or David Beckham? Are you the next Tom Cruise or Steven Spielberg? Have you directed a highly acclaimed movie like Slumdog Millionaire? Are you a foreign national who has won awards for your work or talents?
If you replied “Yes” to any of the above, you might be eligible for an O visa. The O visa is granted to people who have extraordinary skills in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or those who have a proven record of extraordinary achievement in the film or television industries. O visa applicants are typically people with this kind of background who wish to enter the U.S. on a temporary basis to continue their work.
WHAT TYPES OF O VISAS ARE AVAILABLE? THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF O VISAS:
1) O-1A: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures, or television industry);
2) O-1B: Individuals with a special ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry;
3) O-2: Persons who accompany an O-1 visa holder to assist in a particular event; and,
4) O-3: Spouses and/or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders
WHAT IS CONSIDERED “EXTRAORDINARY” FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN O VISA?
To be considered “special” or “extraordinary” for the purposes of an O visa, the foreign national’s ability must be at the highest level in his or her field and recognized by national or international acclaim.
WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS WHICH ARE REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR AN O-1 VISA?
There are some documents required for both the O-1 A and O-1B visas.
A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the individual’s area of ability;
A copy of any written contract between you and your visa petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed;
An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities;
Evidence that you have received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:
o Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
o Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts;
o Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media about you and your work in the field for which classification is sought;
o Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
o Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought;
o A high salary or other remuneration for services, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence;
o Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same field, or in an area of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought;
o Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation in the field of endeavor.
1) A written advisory opinion, describing your ability as follows:
If the petition is based on your extraordinary ability in the arts, the consultation must be from a peer group (including labor organizations) in your field of endeavor, or a person or persons designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability;
If the petition is based on your extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry, separate consultations are required from a labor, and a management organization with expertise in your field of endeavor;
A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed.
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