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O-1 Individual With Extraordinary Abilities

Cupertino Immigration Attorney

An O-1 nonimmigrant Visa is for individuals who possess exceptional skill in the sciences, arts, business, education or athletic field (these are considered "O-1A individuals"). This Visa established by Section 101(O)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Individuals who have contributed in an extraordinary way to the motion picture or television industry and have been nationally recognized for these efforts (these are considered "O-2 individuals") can also apply for an O-1 nonimmigrant Visa. Finally, someone who accompanies an O-1 to assist in a specific event or performance can apply for this Visa as well. This person's assistance must be rendered "essential," however, to the performance or production of the O-1A or O-1. O-3's are the spouses or children of an O-1 or O-2 individual.

How to Qualify for an O-1 Nonimmigrant Visa

To qualify for this visa, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability (which is confirmed by international acclaim). You will have to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with the USCIS office. You cannot file this petition more than one year before your services are needed. The form should be filed, however, at least 45 days before the date of employment.

You will need a written advisory opinion from a U.S. peer group with expertise or labor/management organization concerning your area of ability. You will also need at least three of the following forms of documentation:

  • Documentation of your receipt of nationally or internationally recognizes prizes or awards
  • Documentation of your membership in association in the field for which classification is sought
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about yourself
  • Evidence of your participation on a panel, or individually as a judge of the work of others
  • Evidence of your scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in journals or major media
  • Evidence that you have been employed in essential capacity for an organization/establishment and have a distinguished reputation
  • Evidence that you have either a high salary or will command a high salary for your services (as demonstrated by contracts or other evidence)

You can change employers while under an O-1 Visa. In this instance, your new employer would simply have to file a new Form I-129. If any changes in the terms or conditions of your employment takes place, you will have to file an amended petition on Form I-129. The O-1 Visa is valid for up to three years. You can enter the U.S. 10 days before the validity period of your Visa and exit 10 days after the validity period of your Visa ends. An extension can be granted, if the extension is needed for you to complete or continue your necessary activities (as mentioned in your initial I-129).

There are no travel restrictions while on O-1 status. The O-1 Visa processing time can be reduced to 15 calendar days, however, you will have to pay a premium processing fee of $1,225.

As an O-1 Visa holder, you can work for more than one employer at the same time, as long as both of your employers filed separate petitions with the USCIS. You can engage in part time study as an O-1 Visa holder, but you cannot be a full-time student.

Are you a world-renowned band, chef, model, playwright, Olympic gold medalist, Oscar winner, director, Grammy winner, scientist, author or so forth? Let the Law Offices of Timothy D. Widman help you secure the access to the United States that you deserve! You deserve the chance to use your talents in our country; The Law Offices of Timothy D. Widman is available around the clock to answer your questions about Visa approval!

For more information, check out the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services' website or contact the Law Offices of Timothy D. Widman today at (408) 780-1684!