The O1 Visa classification is divided into O1A and O1B sub-categories. An O1A visa is for a worker who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, while an O-1B visa is for a worker who has extraordinary ability in the arts, motion picture, or television industry. The worker must have a US employer that will employ the worker in his/her area of extraordinary ability. The petitioning employer is required to prove i) the worker has “extraordinary ability”, and ii) submit a “written consultation.
Extraordinary ability in an O1A petition is proven by demonstrating “sustained national or international acclaim.” Sustained national or international acclaim is a matter of meeting defining criteria set by US immigration law. In general, the documentation is to establish that the worker’s expertise places them among the best in their field of endeavor.
Extraordinary ability in an O1B petition is proven by a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture and/or television productions. A record of extraordinary achievement is likewise a matter of meeting defining criteria set by US immigration law. In general, the documentation is to establish that the worker has obtained a high level of accomplishment which has gained significant recognition.
Unless the worker will be employed in the field of arts, entertainment, or athletics, and the service has determined that a petition merits expeditious handling, a “written consultation” is required. A consultation is a written advisory opinion from a “peer group” be provided by a peer group which includes persons of expertise in the field or qualified organizations. For example, the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) may provide an advisor opinion used in a petition for a stand-up comedian, or the US Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) might provide an advisor opinion used in a petition for tennis pro.
Process of Obtaining O1 Visa
Unlike H1B visas there is no quota on the number of O1 visas which may be issued every year; therefore it can be obtained any time of the year. Premium processing, in which the petition will be processed within 15 calendar days, is also available.
An advantage of the O-1 visa is that it may be renewed indefinitely, for as long as the worker is needed. O1 Visa is also considered a “dual intent” visa, meaning that you may have immigrant visa petitions (green card) pending, and still have no problem in applying for O1 Visa extensions. Also, as previously mentioned, O1 visas are available year-round.
Iranian O1 Visa Immigration Lawyer Can Assist you Applying For GREEN CARD While You Are in the Status of O1 Visa:
Additionally, O-1 status may also be considered a path to a green card since the criteria are similar to EB-1A Aliens of Extraordinary Ability self-petitions. EB-1 is the fastest route to a green card in employment based immigration petitions. A limitation of O-1 is that your dependents, which would be in the US on O-3 status, are unable to obtain work authorization.
Documenting extraordinary ability requires meeting precise criteria with proper documentation which a skilled attorney is able to evaluate. Furthermore, if an improper or less than ideal written consultation is provided, the processing of the petition may be delayed or denied. Employers seeking to bring in the best and the brightest can’t afford any delays, and would be best served if a competent professional took care of the O-1 petition.
To discuss O visa petitions and other alternatives with an experienced California immigration Attorney from the Aria Law Group, feel free to contact us by email or call us at (650) 391-9630.