Persons of Extraordinary Ability Visa – O-1 Visa

The O-1 non-immigrant visa category can be utilized by foreign artists, athletes, entertainers, scientists, educators and business people who wish to temporarily come to the United States to work in their field of achievement. As a non-immigrant visa, it does not confer resident status. While the O-1 visa is not a typical pathway to citizenship, it is particularly useful to pursue certain business, scientific, or other pursuits.  

If you or your organization are seeking immigration guidance regarding obtaining an O-1 visa, the attorneys of Colombo & Hurd may be able to assist. From our Orlando and Miami law offices, we provide a strategic and business-focused approach to immigration matters. Call 800-659-7142 today to discuss how our immigration law firm may be able to assist you in achieving your goals.  

What Are O-1 Visa Requirements? 

In order to qualify as an alien of extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, athletics or business, the applicant must do more than simply claim extraordinary ability. Rather, the foreign national must clearly demonstrate his or her international prominence or recognition with evidence and documentation. In most cases, the applicant will need to have received a major international or internationally recognized award or accolade to qualify for this type of visa. However, other types of evidence can be used to show your ability including: 

  • Publications in major trade journals, academic journals, or other respected publications in the field. 
  • Membership in organizations reserved for high-achievers and international experts.  
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business contributions or discoveries.  
  • Employment is critical or essential occupational roles.  
  • Participation on a recognized panel of experts. 
  • Participation as a judge to assess the work of others in the field.  
  • The ability to command a significant salary for services performed.  

Aside from presenting any of the above, the applicant should be sure to provide context for the award. For instance, it is often prudent to include information regarding the criteria used to grant the award, the organization issuing the award, and the level of competition involved. Additionally, it may be useful to highlight past winners of the award.  

In order to be eligible for an O-1 Visa a U.S. corporation or agent must also sponsor the alien. 

Duration and Filing of O-1 Visa 

The O-1 Visa holder is admitted to the United States initially for a three year period but may be extended indefinitely in additional one year increments. The O-1 Visa may be extended until the individual completes the requirements of the job. In order to file a Petition for O-1 status the foreign national must complete a Petition and file same with the USCIS Regional Service Center within four months prior to the requested start date. Although an O-1 Petition make take several months to be adjudicated, an additional $1,000.00 processing fee will allow USCIS to adjudicate the Petition within 15 days of receipt. 

At Colombo & Hurd, our attorneys have experience in successfully preparing O-1 Visas for our clients. If you have a question or wish to schedule a consultation regarding an O-1 contact us at your convenience. 

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