For foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities, there are a number of different visas that can be used to work in the United States. Choosing the right one can be a complicated matter. Some people might plan to change from an O-1 visa to an EB-1 green card, and it is important to know the differences.
An EB-1 green card is for individuals who demonstrate expertise or recognized talent in their specialized field. This includes individuals such as scientists, doctors, researchers, business executives, educators, and other professionals with renowned talent. In order to be eligible for an EB-1, the applicant must have three years of relevant work experience in their field. Once an EB-1 green card is granted, the individual will have permanent residency in the United States.
An O-1 visa is also reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in their field. Individuals with an O-1 visa are initially allowed to stay for three years but have the option of requesting an unlimited number of one-year extensions. O1-A visas are for individuals such as scientists, researchers, business executives, and academics. O1-B visas are for individuals in the arts or entertainment industry.
The biggest difference between the O-1 visa and the EB-1 green card is that holders of a green card are granted permanent residency in the United States. In addition, there are different guidelines for acceptance. For this reason, holders of O-1 visas will not automatically qualify for EB-1 green cards. The requirements for an EB-1 green card are much more intensive, and candidates must show considerable proof that they are at the top of their field. In addition, EB-1A candidates can self-petition without the need for an employer sponsor. O-1 visa applicants must have a sponsor. The EB-1 petition also demands a higher standard for special talent.
If you are considering applying for an O-1 visa or a green card, 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.