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 extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field 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. 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 percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
The O nonimmigrant classification is commonly referred to 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.
Filing of petitions:
- O-1 petition may not be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien’s services.
- An O-1 or O-2 petition shall be adjudicated at the appropriate Service Center, even in emergency situations.
- Only one beneficiary may be included on an O-1 petition. O-2 aliens must be filed for on a separate petition from the O-1 alien.
- An O-1 or O-2 petition may only be filed by a United States employer, a United States agent, or a foreign employer through a United States agent.
- A foreign employer may not directly petition for an O nonimmigrant alien but instead must use the services of a United States agent to file a petition for an O nonimmigrant alien.
- A United States agent petitioning on behalf of a foreign employer must be authorized to file the petition, and to accept services of process in the United States in proceedings on behalf of the foreign employer.
- An O alien may not petition for himself or herself.
Please call us (202-600-7742) or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss if you could qualify for one of these visa programs.