O1 Visa Attorney for Extraordinary Ability

ILG’s O1 Visa Lawyers, with over 25 years of experience, are dedicated to offering strategic legal representation for US immigration to clients worldwide. We prioritize every client and case, acknowledging the substantial benefits that immigration brings to the United States.

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O1 Visa Explained

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.

The visa is a gateway for an individual with extraordinary achievements in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or those recognized for outstanding achievements in the motion picture or television industry. Here are the key categories and considerations:

O1 Visa Categories

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 of critical or essential capacity to completing 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

O1 Visa Requirements

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

Extraordinary Ability Demonstration

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 percentages who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavour. 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.

Recognition Requirement

To meet the criteria, individuals must have demonstrated national or international acclaim for their extraordinary abilities. This recognition extends beyond their immediate field to include expertise in motion picture or television, showcasing excellence acknowledged within the international community and the television industry.

Applying for an O1 Visa via an Immigration lawyer

Step 1: Filing the Petition (Form I-129)

Your U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or foreign employer through a U.S. agent initiates the process by filing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, on your behalf. This should be done along with the required evidence, following the form instructions. It's crucial to file at least 45 days before the employment start date to avoid delays.

Step 2: Consultation for Advisory Opinion

A written advisory opinion is necessary, sourced from a peer group, labor organization, or an expert in your field. For those in motion pictures or television, it must come from an appropriate labor union and a management organization. Ensure any distinctive marks on the document are submitted to avoid processing delays.

Exceptions to Consultation

If no appropriate peer group or labor organization exists.
For individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts seeking readmission within two years, a waiver request and the previous consultation copy should be submitted.

Step 3: Contract and Itineraries

Submit a copy of the contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the oral agreement terms. Provide itineraries detailing the nature, dates, and events or activities related to your extraordinary ability. This includes an itinerary for tours or events during the requested validity period.

Step 4: Agents and Their Roles

A U.S. agent can be your actual employer or represent both you and the employer. The employer may also authorize them to act as its agent.

Step 5: Evidence of O-1 Eligibility

The petitioner must present evidence establishing your extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, business, education, athletics, or motion picture industry. This includes three types of documentation or comparable evidence, demonstrating compliance with relevant classification standards.

Why Choose Immigration Group as your Immigration lawyer

Navigating the intricacies of immigration law, particularly in the realm of employment-based green cards, can be challenging. Securing the services of a seasoned attorney is crucial for several reasons:

In-Depth Understanding of Immigration Law

Our adept employment-based green card attorneys specialize in immigration law, ensuring a comprehensive grasp of the intricate legal nuances involved in the application process. With over two decades of experience, we are a Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Law firm that possesses extensive knowledge of immigration law complexities.

Tailored Immigration Solutions for Your Unique Concerns

Every employment-based green card case is unique, requiring a personalized approach. Our experienced immigration attorneys carefully evaluate your specific circumstances, whether you’re establishing a new office, transferring employees, or seeking permanent residency. This customized strategy significantly enhances the likelihood of a successful application.

Proven Track Record of Success

Attorney Glen Wasserstein, featured in interviews by major networks such as NBC, BBC, and Fox News, has a history of success. An experienced employment-based green card lawyer with a track record of accomplishments demonstrates the ability to navigate the complexities of immigration law. This successful record instils confidence in clients seeking reliable immigration solutions.

Required Documentation for O1 Visa

Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker

The pivotal document delineates intricate details of your employment, contract duration, and the unique nature of your exceptional abilities, positioning you as a lead or starring participant in your industry.

Evidence of Extraordinary Ability

Awards and Recognitions: A testament to your outstanding abilities, featuring evidence of accolades and significant national or international recognition.

Published Material: An O1 applicant must submit comparable evidence of articles or media coverage spotlighting the noteworthy achievements in the major commercial, picture, or television industry such as shown in box office receipts or records.

Membership in Associations: Concrete proof of your membership in professional organizations, underscoring your major significance.

Peer Reviews: Letters of recommendation attesting to your extraordinary achievement, distinguished reputation, and critical role in projects.

Significant Contributions: A comprehensive dossier highlighting your patents, research findings, and invaluable business-related contributions.

Employment Letter

A comprehensive letter from your U.S. employer or agent, eloquently detailing your employment terms, position as a lead or starring participant, salary, and the duration of your contract.

Itinerary of Events

Vital, especially for arts and entertainment applicants, presenting a detailed schedule of venues, organizations, and dates, including internationally recognized prizes and performances that require outstanding achievements.

Consultation Letter (if applicable)

Essential in specific cases, providing verification of your extraordinary abilities and intended work in the U.S., often sought from relevant labor organizations or industry experts.

Valid Passport and Photographs

Ensure a smooth process with a valid passport extending beyond six months, complemented by U.S. visa photo-compliant, passport-sized photographs. Our immigration lawyers facilitate the submission of both employer and employee documentation, guiding you through the critical acclaim, recognition, and successes you've achieved.

Visa Duration Information for O1 Visa

The initial period of stay for O nonimmigrants extends up to three years. As an O nonimmigrant, your entry into the United States coincides with the petition's validity, providing an additional 10-day grace period before and after. This flexibility facilitates seamless preparation and conclusion of activities. Your work authorization is confined to the petition's validity, ensuring that your extraordinary talents, recognized on a national or international level, continue to illuminate the global stage. Our immigration lawyers, well-versed in navigating the complexities of O1 Visas, stand ready to champion your extension process, securing your ongoing impact in the motion picture or television industry and beyond.

Renewing Your O1 Visa

The O-1 visa renewal process unfolds in one-year increments, with applications accepted six months before the current expiration date. If your exceptional event or activity necessitates an extension, your employer or agent must submit the following documents to USCIS:

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker: The cornerstone of your renewal request, outlining your continued extraordinary abilities and achievements.

  • Copy of Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record: Providing a record of your initial entry and stay in the United States.

  • Statement Explaining Reasons for Extension: Clearly articulating the compelling reasons behind the need for an extension to ensure a smooth and successful renewal process.

Immigration lawyers, well-versed in the intricacies of O1 Visa renewals, stand ready to navigate the submission of all necessary documentation, ensuring your sustained international acclaim, significant recognition, and ongoing extraordinary achievements are effectively communicated to government agencies. Whether your expertise lies in the major commercial, motion picture, or performing arts industry, a DC immigration attorney to secure your continued success on the global stage.

Client Reviews

What an amazing team to work with. SO grateful for Jen, Catherine and the whole team, who worked so hard and were so patient with us through this whole process of obtaining our green cards. They are truly experts and can be trusted without a doubt to help you with your immigration needs! Utmost professionals and a pleasure to work with.

Sarah C.

Immigration Law Group has a wonderful team of lawyers. They handled my h1b and permanent residence paperwork in a way that really made me feel comfortable and brought me peace through a very stressful time. they are on top of things and always answered my questions in a timely manner. I highly recommend them if you want to make sure everything goes perfectly.

Kiran M.

Everyone at Immigration Law Group, from the attorneys to support staff, have been nothing but helpful, well-informed, and courteous to me from the start until now. Jen, and Catherine in particular, have been super helpful in explaining complicated procedures and processes in easy to understand ways–yet not dumbing down to the level where they are leaving out important details. I feel confident and knowledgeable with ILG working on my case, and there’s a personal level of communication and trust, which also puts me at ease during a difficult and tricky process. I highly recommend Immigration Law Group–I’m so glad I found them!

Andrew O.

We are very satisfied with the Immigration Law Group and the services they had provided us so far. They have very capable staff that is always on top of our cases and help us navigate them successfully. We have had great success with all cases and their rates are very reasonable. They know Immigration law better than any other law firm we worked with. I would recommend them without hesitation!

Alina T.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

While not mandatory, an internationally recognized award significantly strengthens your O-1 Visa application, providing concrete evidence of your outstanding achievements or abilities.

Major media coverage is crucial, showcasing your significant national or international recognition. Including critical reviews and features in professional journals further substantiates your extraordinary abilities.

Absolutely. Collaborative efforts involving both the employer and the individual can provide a comprehensive view of the applicant’s distinguished reputation, critical acclaim, and significant contributions in major media and professional journals.

Management organizations can be valuable allies, contributing to your distinguished reputation and endorsing your critical achievements nationally. Their involvement strengthens your case during the O-1 Visa process.

Applicants in the arts should present evidence such as an academy award, internationally recognized awards, or publications that received significant recognition. Highlighting their ability through critically acclaimed successes and distinguished reputations is also crucial for approval.

We’re ILG, your Immigration Specialists

We Believe in Immigration. We ensure that all our clients get the best chance to a new life in the United States.