PERSONS OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY IN THE ARTS, ATHLETICS, SCIENCE, BUSINESS AND EDUCATION: O-1 VISAS
The O-1 visa is available to individuals of “extraordinary ability” in the arts, athletics, science, business and education who are coming to the U.S. to work in their field.
We assist companies, workers, and their dependent family members in obtaining their O-1, O-2 and O-3 visas. We prepare the extensive paperwork and guide them through the distinct and complex rules that are applicable to each profession within this broad visa category. We coordinate matters between employer and employee, and represent the parties before the INS in the U.S. as well as the consulate of the employee’s home country. We guide the parties through decisions regarding the exacting eligibility requirements for O-1 and O-2 visas, as well as the methods and documentation needed to satisfy the legal criteria applicable to each of the professions covered by this visa. We obtain advisory and consultation reports from peer groups, labor unions, and management organizations, as required, review employment contracts, reference letters, diplomas, certificates and additional documentary and financial requirements, and assist with the eventual change from an O visa to another visa, as appropriate.
The O-1 Visa Is Outlined Below.
O-1 visas are available to individuals in the above-mentioned categories based upon individual qualifications who enjoy national or international acclaim, and who meet the demanding standard of “extraordinary ability”. Motion picture or television production applicants must have a “demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement”, which involves a somewhat more liberal application of the “extraordinary ability” requirement, and for those in the arts (defined as any field of creative activity, including but not limited to fine, visual, culinary, and performing) an even less rigorous standard known as “distinction” applies to the individual’s qualifications. The O-1 visa is based upon individual qualifications; membership in a group or team is not by itself sufficient to obtain this visa.
O-1 Visa Privileges:
• Visas can be issued quickly.
• You may travel freely in and out of the U.S. for the term of the visa.
• O-2 visas are available to those who work as essential support personnel of O-1 athletes and artists.
• O-3 Visas may be issued to accompanying relatives of O-1 and O-2 visa holders, but they may not work or study.
• You do not have to prove that you intend to return to your home country residence when your business in the U.S. is completed.
• O-1 and O-3 visa holders may apply for permanent residence while in O status.
O-1 and O-2 Visa Prerequisites and Restrictions:
• You must be the recipient of a job offer.
• You must meet the stringent standards of “Extraordinary Ability” applicable to the O visa.
• Letters of no objection or advisory opinions must normally be obtained from U.S. peer groups, labor organizations, or management organizations to obtain O-1 and O-2 visas.
• You are restricted to working for the employer who acted as your sponsor.
• O-2 visas are not available in the fields of science, business or education.
• O-2 visa applicants must prove that they intend to return to their home country residence when their business in the U.S. is completed.
• O-2 visa holders may not apply for permanent residence while in O status.