O1 Visa – Who Can Use This Visa?

The O1 Visa is a temporary work visa available to foreign nationals who possess some extraordinary skills in the field of science, arts, education, business or athletics. The visa is also available to individuals engaged in professions related to television, films or creative fields like make-up artists, set designers, photographers and carpenters. However, the Visa authorities should be convinced that these individuals have extraordinary achievements in their respective fields.

The O1 visa paves the way for established foreign artists to showcase their talents in the US markets. The visas are valid for three years and can be extended in increments of one year for their ongoing projects.

To be eligible for this visa, the applicant should be petitioned by a US company or an US agent. An O1 visa applicant cannot self-petition.

Requirements for an O1 Visa

Interested applicants must prove extraordinary skills in the field of arts, science, business, education, motion pictures, television industry and athletics. Further, they must show that they have achieved international acclaim in their chosen field. The interested applicant must also demonstrate that he/she is coming to the US only for a temporary period and his/her purpose of visit is related to the events that they intend to participate in.

O1 Visa Petition and Evidence Requirement

The applicant should provide evidence that he/she is a winner of internationally recognized awards or demonstrate at least three of the following:

  • Published material about the work undertaken by them.
  • The individual is associated with any organization that would require its members to have outstanding achievement.
  • Scientific, scholarly or business related contributions which has a significant impact on different fields of study
  • Having authored articles in any type of major media or professional journals

An intending O1 visa applicant applying on grounds of being in the motion pictures or television, should show that they are winners of any internationally acclaimed award like Academy Award or Grammy awards or by demonstrating any of the three:

  • Lead or starring role, or established in organization with reputation.
  • Any record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success;
  • High salary in relation to others in the field

Comparable evidence can also be submitted if the above standards do not apply to the applicant to establish eligibility for O1 visa. An applicant should also provide a contract between him and the employer and if possible an itinerary of the scheduled projects or events.

Things to be noted while filing an O1 Visa application

Individuals accompanying the O1 visa holders can obtain an O2 Visa. To qualify for the O2 visa these assistants should show that they have a long standing relationship with the primary applicant. Spouses and children are eligible to file for the O3 visa.

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