O-1 Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

An O-1 is a nonimmigrant status to work temporarily in the United States. A foreign national may apply for an O-1 visa at a U.S. consulate abroad or may change their status to O-1.

Who is an O-1 for?

An O-1 is for foreign nationals who can demonstrate that they possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, business, education, athletics, or someone 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.

There are two classifications for an O-1: O-1A and O-1B.

What is an O-1A?

An O-1A is for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics. The standard for these fields requires the foreign national have sustained national or international acclaim.

What is an O-1B?

An O-1B is for foreign nationals with demonstrated record of extraordinary ability in the arts by proving that the artist is prominent in their field of endeavor. An O-1B is also the correct classification for a foreign national with a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry. Note that the standard is lower for foreign nationals in the field of arts than for other fields.

A U.S. employer or agent must file the O-1 petition on behalf of the foreign national.

A U.S. agent may be the actual employer, a representative of the and employer and the beneficiary, or a person or entity who is authorized by the employer to act for or in place of the employer. An agent may also represent multiple employers if the foreign national will be working for multiple employers.

Support Staff

Further, support staff who will accompany an O-1 artist or athlete to assist the O-1 in a specific performance or event may obtain O-2 nonimmigrant status. Dependents of an O-1 (spouse and/or children) may obtain O-3 status. The dependents on O-3 are not employment authorized. However, a dependent may choose to study in O-3 status.

A foreign national may hold O-1 status for an unlimited number of years provided the O-1 requirements are met for the entire duration of the approval.

Speak with an Immigration Attorney

Much like most other applications for an immigration related benefit, an O-1 petition is document heavy. It also requires a systematic approach with a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of the law. Sunil C. Patel Immigration Law has extensive experience in assisting clients with their O-1 petitions. Contact us for more information about how we can assist you.

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