The O1 Visa
The O1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
To qualify for an O1 visa as an individual of extraordinary ability, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- You must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim, or a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industry, and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.
- Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts. This is evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that you are prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.
- To qualify for an O1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievement. This is evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that you are recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.
How to Apply for an O1 Visa
If you meet the requirements for an O1 visa, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- Fill out a Form G-28. This form entitles your attorney or accredited representative to act on your behalf,
- A U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or foreign employer through a US agent should file a Form I-129 on your behalf.
If you are outside the United States, you should apply for your O1 visa at a consulate or embassy. It is recommended to work with a qualified immigration attorney to ensure your documents are filed correctly and expeditiously.
An O1 visa comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States,
- The O1 can be renewed in one-year increments after an initial three-year duration,
- Your immediate family (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age) can also qualify for an O1 visa. While in the United States, your children can go to school and your spouse can apply for an EAD, employment authorization document, giving them permission to work legally in the United States.