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O-1 Visa: Tips and Strategies for a Successful Outcome

Posted by Kripa Upadhyay | Aug 26, 2021

O-1 Visa: Tips and Strategies for a Successful Outcome

One of the fundamental beliefs in the United States is offering people the opportunity to grow. When the businesses and individuals living in the U.S. strive for success, the country's economy and organizations benefit. While a few types of visas offer citizens of foriegn countries the ability to live and work in the United States, the O-1 visa can provide temporary residency to eligible individuals. 

The O-1 is a nonimmigrant visa for individuals who possess expertise in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. They may also have an extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry or are recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. The O-1 visa is an excellent option for those who qualify, but there are many steps in the filing process. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help with a smooth application process. 

Requirements for the O-1 Visa

Those who acquire an O-1 visa are able to live in the United States and work within the area of ability. The O-1 visa is divided into O-1A for the sciences, athletics, and business and O-1B for artists. While both have distinct differences in “extraordinary” ability, both groups have a few similarities. 

Employer or Agent Sponsor

For a person to receive a O-1 visa, they'll need to have sponsorship from an employer or an agent. They won't be able to self-petition for the O-1 visa and it's essential that documentation and records of sponsorship are available for the process. 

Advisory Opinion

An advisory opinion documents the individual's extraordinary ability and reputation. The advisory opinion must come from a trade or consulting organization, or a reputable peer group and state that the person does have a sustained reputation of extraordinary ability. Another way to achieve a suitable replacement is if a number of focused letters from experts in the field substituted for the advisory opinion.

Extraordinary Ability

There are separate requirements for the O-1A and O-1B sections of the visa. For the O-1A section with sciences, athletics, and business, the requirement can either be a one-time achievement at the caliber of an Olympic Medal or Nobel prize, or at least three of the following: 

  • Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, published by a professional or major trade publication or other major media;
  • Commanding a high salary or high remuneration for services, as compared to others in the field;
  • Evidence of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes and awards;
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievements and is judged by experts in their field;
  • Material about the person in professional or major publications, or an appearance in published materials;
  • Judging the work of others in the field in a highly professional environment.

For the O-1B visa relating to the arts, the criteria is referred to as the “distinction” and is shown through a one-time significant achievement like an Academy Award, Emmy, Director's Guild Award, or evidence of three of the following:

  • Has or will perform as a lead or starring participant in productions or events that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by reviews, publications, advertisements, publicity releases, contracts, or endorsements;
  • Having a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services with others in the field. 
  • Recognition for achievements from organizations, government agencies, or critics in the field in which you are engaged;
  • Has or will perform a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations that have a highly considered reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, testimonials, trade journals, or publications;
  • Achieved national or international recognition for achievements that are shown through critical reviews or other published materials;
  • Records of significant commercial or critically acclaimed successes, rating, or standing in the field, box office receipts, shown through indicators of title, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications.

Providing the above information or other documents that state your achievements and skills is critical to the process of the O-1 visa application. To make sure you have all the documents organized and presented for the application, an immigration lawyer can guide you through the process. 

Ways to Have a Successful O-1 Visa Application Process

Filing for an O-1 has many requirements, but don't rule out your option because the process is complicated. An experienced immigration lawyer has the tools and knowledge to help you gather all the necessary documents and lead you on the right path. There are a few things to keep in mind when filing for the O-1 visa, including: 

  • Provide sufficient supporting evidence
  • Be highly specific about credentials 
  • Provide detailed opinion letters

Working with an immigration lawyer to collect all the required information and documents can help create an organized and streamlined application. Instead of worrying about whether or not you have everything you need, work with a professional who can help guide you through the process.  

Seek a Dependable Immigration Lawyer at Orbit Law Today

Whether you're a Nobel Prize winner or an international superstar, an O-1 visa can offer you the ability to work and live inside the United States. Many opportunities for scientific research and artistic expression are available and can further your career path. Contact our team at Orbit Law for details on the O-1 visa and how our motivated and experienced immigration lawyers can guide you through the process. We offer our legal services in English, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu so our clients can comfortably communicate all their questions and concerns. 

For more information about our services, call (206) 623-3352 or fill out our contact form.

About the Author

Kripa Upadhyay

Kripa Upadhyay Founder/Attorney [email protected] EDUCATION Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, WA, Juris Doctor (JD)  May 2007 ADMISSIONS Washington State Bar Association: Admitted May 2008 U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Washington: Admitted 2009 U.S...