If your petition for an O-1 visa extension is denied, you should not panic. You do have options, and all hope is not lost. If you do receive a denial, your first step should be to contact an immigration attorney who can help you with your case. You do have some options that may be available to you and that an attorney can help you with.
The first motion that should be filed if your O-1 visa extension is denied is a motion to reopen. This is appropriate when new evidence has come to light that may change the outcome of your case. This motion is essentially a petition to reconsider the case when there is new evidence available.
If you and your attorney decide that the officer’s decision was erroneous, you can file a motion to reconsider. In a motion to reconsider, you are asking the officer to take another look at your case provided that you have made a quality argument for your O-1 visa extension.
A denial of your O-1 visa extension does not preclude you from filing for other types of available visas. Your attorney can give you some information on which visa may be right for you. For example, an H-1B visa is a popular visa for those who have a college degree and a job offer in their specialty. The downside is that the visa is only good for six years maximum. In addition, there is a lottery system as there are a limited number of visas available.
If you receive an O-1 extension denial, you still may be able to apply for a green card. This would allow you to live permanently in the United States without the need to apply for extensions. Depending on the green card, to go from an O-1 visa to a green card, you will either need your employer to petition on your behalf, or you will have to petition yourself. You may also need your employer to obtain a labor certification. The most common green cards O-1 visa holders tend to pursue are:
Remember that the fact that your O-1 visa extension was denied does not preclude you from applying for an O-1 visa again in the future. Perhaps there are steps you can take to further demonstrate your extraordinary ability and can apply again more successfully. Make sure you don’t overstay your departure date, or you could jeopardize future petitions.
If you’re applying for an O-1 visa extension or if your extension was denied, you should contact an experienced visa attorney. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a consultation.