Visa for outstanding workers of Extraordinary Ability
The O1 is a non-immigrant Visa is for foreign workers of Extraordinary Ability in the fields of Science, Business, Arts and Athletics that are coming to the United States to render their services on a temporary basis.
The O-1 Visa is the most desirable temporary U.S. work Visa available because:
- It is not subject to annual caps, like the H-1B Visa
- No set level of education is required
- There is no minimum wage requirement
- There is no Labor Certification requirement
- It can be used by J-1 Visa holders to waive the 2-year residency requirement
Requirements for the O-1 Visa
There are two kind of O-1 Visa: the O1A and the O1B.
The O-1A Visa is for workers of extraordinary ability in the fields of Science, Education, Business or Athletics. A petition for an O-1A Visa must include evidence that the beneficiary has received a major, internationally-recognized award, or evidence of at least three of the following criteria:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field
- Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by well-known national or international authorities in the field
- Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary or the work of the beneficiary
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major importance and recognition in the field
- Authorship of academic articles in professional journals or other major media
- A high salary or other compensation for services rendered
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same field of specialization for which classification is sought
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for Companies and organizations that have a distinguished reputation
The O-1B Visa is for workers of extraordinary ability in the field of Arts. The O-1B classification can be granted for many types of job. The USCIS regulations state that the O1B Visa is for “any field of creative activity or endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, culinary arts, and performing arts”.
An O-1B Visa petition must include evidence that the beneficiary has received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, or evidence of at least three of the following criteria:
- Performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation
- Achieved national or international acclaim, as shown by published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, magazines, or other publications
- Performed and will perform in a lead, principal, or critical role for Companies and organizations that have a distinguished reputation
- A record of major commercial success, as shown by box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings 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
- A high salary or other substantial compensation for services in relation to others in the field
O-1 Visa to Green Card
The O1 is a non-immigrant Visa allowing his holder to seek permanent residence in the United States. There is also a potential direct path to a Green Card from O-1 classification, through the EB1 Visa for Extraordinary Ability.
The spouses and minor children of O1A and O1B Visa holders can come to the U.S. as dependents on O-3 classification.
As a New York Immigration Attorney, I have helped many people get the O-1 Visa for Extraordinary Ability.