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
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
• 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
• O-2 visa holders may not apply for permanent
residence while in O status.
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