The O-1 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.
• O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
• O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts, or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
• O-2: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1
GENERALLY REQUIRED EVIDENCE
O-1A & O-1B
• A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability
• A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
• Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
• Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about you and your work in the field for which classification is sought
• Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
• Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
• Performed or will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements
• Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about you in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications
• A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators like title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
• Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which you are engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien's achievements
• A written advisory consultation: If the O-2 petition is to support the individual with extraordinary ability in athletics or the arts, the consultation must be from the appropriate labor organization; or If the O-2 petition is to support the individual with extraordinary achievement in motion pictures or television, the consultation must come from an appropriate labor organization and a management organization with expertise in a the skill area involved.
• Evidence of the current essentiality, critical skills, and experience of the O-2 alien with the O-1 alien, and that the alien has substantial experience utilizing the critical skills and essential support services for the O-1. In the case of a specific motion picture or television production, the evidence shall establish that significant production has taken place outside the U.S. and will take place inside the U.S. and that the continuing participation of the alien is essential to the successful completion of the production .
Stage 1: Collecting Evidence
Stage 2: Submit Petition to USCIS
Stage 3: Approval
Stage 1 to Stage 2: about 3 weeks
Stage 2 to Stage 3: about 3-4 months
EXCEPTIONS & NOTICE
A. The time period between Stage 1 and Stage 2 may vary case by case due to the complexity of your occupation and the employer’s entity.
B. The petition may not be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien’s services. To avoid delays, the petition should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment
C. O-3 visa holders: the dependents of O visa holders may not work in the United States, but they may engage in full or part time study
D. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts evidence by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above the ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.
E. Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentages who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
F. To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.