We’ve Been There…
Let Us Be There For You

Immigration 101: The O-1 Visa

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2020 | Blog

If you have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, and have been recognized nationally or internationally for your achievements, you may be eligible for an O-1 nonimmigrant visa to spend time in the United States. In today’s blog post, we’re answering some of the most commonly asked questions about O-1 visas.

Can I come to the United States permanently on an O-1 visa?

No. O-1 visas are only for temporary stays in the United States and the purpose of your trip must be to work in the area of your extraordinary ability.

I’m not sure if I qualify. What constitutes “extraordinary ability”?

According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “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.” 

If you’re still not sure whether or not you qualify, an immigration attorney can help you determine whether or not this is the right visa for you.

How do I apply for an O-1 visa?

You will need to provide USCIS with some documentation to apply for this visa. You will need to submit a Form I-129, a consultation (this is a written advisory opinion from a peer group or person with expertise in your area of ability), a written contract between you and your employer in the United States, and an itinerary. There may be other documentation required for your application as well, depending on your unique individual circumstances.

It is essential to have an immigration attorney help you with your visa application because even the slightest mistake in your paperwork can result in denial.

Can I bring other people with me when I travel to the United States on an O-1 visa?

If you are traveling to the United States on an O-1 visa, someone who is an “essential” part of your activity or performance can come with you on an O-2 visa. The spouses and children of people with O-1 and O-2 visas can join them on O-3 visas.

Who can help me if I plan to apply for an O-visa?

If you are applying for an O-visa, contact Villegas Law Office today. We are eager to help you better understand the eligibility requirements and properly fill out the necessary forms and other paperwork. We can’t wait to work with you!