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Frequently Asked Questions About O Visas

  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: April 28, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions About O Visas

O visas are a useful tool for individuals of extraordinary ability who wish to work in the United States. Here are some frequently asked questions:

What Is The Purpose Of An O Visa?

The O visa is a nonimmigrant visa available to those individuals, and their families and support personnel, who demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

What Are The Benefits Of An O-1 Visa?

Unlike with an H1-B visa, there is no lottery that an employee has to go through for an O-1 visa. O visas can be issued fairly quickly and are granted for a maximum of three years with unlimited one-year extensions. O-1 visa holders may also pursue permanent residency.

What Does “Extraordinary Ability” Mean?

The phrase “extraordinary ability” means that a person has a level of expertise and is one of that small percentage of individuals who have risen to the top of their field of endeavor. An applicant for an O-1 visa must demonstrate that they have sustained national and international acclaim and that their achievements have been recognized in the field. This is done through extensive documentation.

How Can An Application Demonstrate That An Individual Has Sustained National And International Acclaim?

National and international acclaim can be demonstrated through the receipt of a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize or an Academy Award. Alternatively, the applicant can provide other types of evidence such as published material in professional or major trade publications and original contributions to the field of major significance.

Who Can File The O Petition?

The individual of extraordinary ability cannot self-petition for an O visa. Only a United States agent or employer can file a petition in the jurisdiction where the individual intends to work.

How Long Can An O Visa Holder Stay In The United States?

The period of stay on an O visa is tied to the length of time it takes to provide for the event or activity for which the individual is admitted, up to a three-year period. There may be unlimited one-year extensions.

Contact A Trusted Immigration Attorney

If you are interested in applying for an O visa, you should consult with an experienced visa 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 consultation.

Magdalena Cuprys, Esq.

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how
important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands
how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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