O1 Extraordinary Ability Visa
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of exceptional achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
The O nonimmigrant classification is commonly divided as:
- 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
- O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s
To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary talent.
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 which has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. The distinction means a high level of achievement in the area of the arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.
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 the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and television field.
The visa applicant must meet specific conditions, and submit evidence to satisfy all the requirements since it is the burden of the applicant to demonstrate it has met all the criteria set for by the USCIS. By submitting a professionally written business plan in compliance with USCIS prerequisites, applicants may supersede additional questions by the USCIS, significantly reducing the possibility of Request for Evidence notices or denials.
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