This Visa was created for applicants with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, business, education, athletics, or motion pictures, and their support staff. These applicants initially competed for H-1B visas, until the O visas created in 1990 for them specifically.
- The beneficiary does NOT need to come from a treaty country, like applicants for E visas.
- Often, your employer will file for the O visa, naming you as their beneficiary. This functions much like an H-1B visa.
- The O visa holder must have their extraordinary abilities in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics and be able to demonstrate this through sustained national or international fame.
- There are different classes of O visa: O-1A which applies to people with extraordinary ability in science, business, education or sports; and O-1B visa for people with extraordinary ability in the arts, including television or motion pictures.
- The visa holder must be coming to the United States specifically to work in their field.
- The Department of Homeland Security must determine that this “extraordinary ability” involves a level of expertise that the visa holder is a one of a small number of people who can do what they do. Their level of distinction or accomplishment must be well known.
- An O-1 visa’s team or support staff can qualify for O-2 visas if they provide essential support.
- O-3 visas are granted to qualifying applicants who are the spouses or minor children of O-1 or O-2 visa holders.
- O-1 visa applications are strengthened by being able to document things like awards or prizes for excellence in the field, membership in exclusive associations, published articles about achievements, scholarly work, high salary, and other criteria. This list is not exclusive and you should contact VISAS-USA if you believe you may qualify.
What Are the Benefits of an O-1 Visa
- Unlike H-1B visas there is no cap on the number of O visas granted. It is available to anyone who meets its criteria.
- An O visa is typically granted for three years and can be renewed in one year increments, as long as the visa holder maintains eligibility and the extension is necessary. This can be done without limit.
- The O visa, like the H-1B however, is dual intent, meaning an O visa holder can simultaneously apply for a Green Card.
O1 Visa Fees
Filing Fee – Regular $460
Filing Fee – Premium $2,960
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