If you have remarkable skills in your field, and you are interested in honing your craft in the United States, an O-1 nonimmigrant visa may be for you. An O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that generally lasts for one to three years. There are two categories of this type of visa, O-1A and O-1B. The O-1 visa differs from the EB-1 in that it is temporary and lacks a green card benefit.
Like an EB-1A. an O-1A nonimmigrant visa is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. Alternatively, those who have exemplary skills in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry may be eligible for an O-1B nonimmigrant visa. A skilled Los Angeles O-1 visa attorney may help you to decide which type of O-1 visa might be appropriate for you, so that you may live and work temporarily in the United States.
Qualifications for an O-1A Nonimmigrant Visa
Successful applicants for an O-1A nonimmigrant, temporary visa are those who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in their field and sustained national or international acclaim. These persons are those who have evidenced that they are one of only a small percentage who has risen to the top of their area of extraordinary ability. O-1A petitioners must also attest that they are only coming to the United States temporarily to work in their area of exemplary talent and notoriety.
Although an extraordinary foreign national might be eager to apply for a temporary nonimmigrant visa, an individual or their O-1A immigration lawyer may not apply to USCIS more than one year before their intended entry into the United States. However, O-1 visa professionals should submit their paperwork at least 45 days before they need to report for work in America.
As an O-1A is a nonimmigrant visa, it may be valid for only one year, but some outstanding individuals are able to be granted a longer stay. A capable O-1A attorney in Los Angeles may have the knowledge necessary to gain a three-year temporary visa for an exemplary client.
Outstanding individuals who want to work for 1-3 years in the USA will need to demonstrate to USCIS that they meet at least three of eight O-1A criteria. The eight O-1A qualifications are as follows:
Applying for an O-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
An O-1B nonimmigrant visa may be awarded by USCIS to those with extraordinary ability in the arts. For an O-1B, extraordinary ability means distinction in the arts or entertainment. Additionally, artists who need to be in the United States for an event or performance should be prepared to present USCIS with their intended itinerary.
When evidencing an agreement with a U.S. employer, O-1B applicants may be able to provide their contract with their agent, who will likely also be able to provide an agreement with the entertainment venue or U.S.-based employer. An adept Los Angeles immigration lawyer who is well-informed on O-1B nonimmigrant visas may provide clients with other examples of documents that might serve as compelling evidence.
Criteria for an O-1B Temporary Visa
To demonstrate distinction in the arts, an O-1B applicant will need to provide evidence that they meet at least three of six criteria:
O-1B artists, models, and entertainers are also required by USCIS to obtain a consultation and advisory opinion from the appropriate labor group or union. If there is no corresponding O-1B labor organization, a knowledgeable immigration lawyer may direct a client to acquire endorsements from members of their peer group in the United States.
Consultation and Advisory Opinion
In addition to submitted evidence of extraordinary ability and a contract with a U.S. employer, O-1 petition letters should be accompanied by a consultation and advisory opinion from the relevant labor organization. If the exemplary individual is not involved in the arts or athletics, and there is not an appropriate union to issue the consultation and advisory opinion, they may seek written endorsements from members of their peer group.
There may be a circumstance where an O-1 applicant does not belong to a peer group or labor organization. In such cases, USCIS will make their decision based on the supplied evidence. However, a practiced O-1 immigration lawyer may be able to provide a list of peer groups or labor organizations to a client, so that a consultation and advisory opinion may be sent to USCIS.
What is the purpose of an O-1 consultation and advisory opinion?
An O-1A or O-1B consultation and advisory opinion provides an endorsement of a person of extraordinary ability by experts in their field in the United States. However, if an O-1 petitioner or their immigration attorney can show that there is no corresponding peer group, labor organization, or union to provide such a ratification, USCIS may base their decision on the other provided evidence.
Moreover, O-1B artists who have already obtained a consultation and advisory opinion during the past two years for similar work may be able to have this requirement waived. An immigration attorney who is well-informed about O-1 nonimmigrant visas may provide further information on consultation and advisory opinion waivers by USCIS.
Ask An O-1 Nonimmigrant Visa Attorney
The process for applying to USCIS for an O-1 classification can be cumbersome if you are unclear about the documentation that is needed. In addition to providing the correct information on the USCIS forms, a professional of extraordinary ability must also attach relevant supporting documentation. A seasoned O-1 visa lawyer may be well-versed in writing a persuasive letter that will convince USCIS to award you a nonimmigrant stay in the United States.
Make an appointment to speak with a well-informed immigration lawyer, if you think that an O-1 visa might be right for you. The O-1 attorney may be able to thoroughly explain the nonimmigrant visa process and answer any questions you may have about USCIS requirements.