An O-1 visa is very useful if you are looking to temporarily work in the United States. This visa provides substantial advantages, but it can be difficult to obtain. It is necessary to demonstrate that you are an individual with extraordinary ability. In order to qualify for an O-1 visa, you must prove that you have extraordinary achievements in your field. Depending on the category, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability in science, athletics, business, education, or the arts. There is a list of different qualifications for each of these visas and as long as you meet three or more of the requirements you may be able to obtain an O-1 visa. Some of the advantages of an O-1 visa include:
While you cannot self-petition and you must have a sponsor for an O-1 visa, there is some flexibility in who can sponsor you. Most work visas require that the sponsor be someone who will employ you in the United States. With an O-1 visa your sponsor can be either an employer or a U.S. agent. An agent is someone who is hired to represent the O-1 visa holder’s in employment matters and looks out for the visa holder’s interests. This means that you do not have to be committed to one employer or one job. This person must represent you through the duration of your visa stay.
Most visas have a limited duration of stay. In contrast, the O-1 visa is good for an initial period of stay of three year but then allows for unlimited extensions. Essentially, you can stay in the United States indefinitely as long as you continue to meet the requirements of a visa extension. These extensions are guaranteed in one-year increments.
If you have an O-1 visa, you can bring your family with you under an O-3 visa. An O-3 visa is granted to a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Their visa validity is the same as yours. In addition, you can bring along support personnel that are considered essential to your work. They would receive an O-2 visa which would be valid as long as your visa is valid.
Because it is a dual intent visa, your eligibility will not be affected by the fact that you intend to permanently reside in the United States. While you are in the country on an O-1 visa, you are free to apply for a green card to convert your status to permanent.
If you are considering applying for a visa, you may want the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.