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Email: zliu@niwus.com

O-1 Extraordinary Ability

Q: What is an O visa?

A: The O non-immigrant category is reserved for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O-1), the artist's or athlete's support staff (O-2), and the O-1's spouse and/or children (O-3).

Q: Who is qualified for an O visa?

A: To qualify for an O visa, the alien must be coming to the U.S. to work in his or her area of extraordinary ability or achievement.

Q: Is there an annual cap on O visa?

A: No. There is currently no annual cap on O visas.

Q: What are the differences between O and Eb-1A visas?

A: Both O and Eb-1A are visas for alien of extraordinary ability. Although their requirements are similar and overlap each other, they are different visa categories. The major differences between these two categories are: 1) O is a non-immigrant visa while Eb-1A is an immigrant visa (green card); 2) O needs employer sponsorship while Eb-1A does not.

Q: Who can apply for an O-1 visa?

A: The O-1 category applies to aliens who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television).

Q: How does a petitioner establish an alien's extraordinary ability?

A: Petitioner can establish an alien's extraordinary ability by submitting evidence that the alien has received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, OR evidence of at least three of the following:

  1. Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  2. Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts;
  3. Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the alien and his work in the field for which classification is sought;
  4. Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  5. Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought;
  6. A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence;
  7. Participation on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought;
  8. Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.

If the above standards do not readily apply to the alien's occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence* in order to establish the alien's eligibility. (*An attorney can help you determine what constitutes comparable evidence.)

Q: Does O-1 apply to movie directors or actors?

A: Yes. The O-1 category also applies to aliens who are coming temporarily and have extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

Q: How does a movie performer establish extraordinary ability?

A: Petitioner must establish alien's extraordinary ability by submitting evidence that the alien has received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director's Guild Award, or evidence of at least three of the following:

  1. Performed or will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements;
  2. Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications;
  3. A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications;
  4. Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the alien is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien's achievements;
  5. A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence

    If the above standards do not readily apply to the alien's occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence* in order to establish the alien's eligibility. (*An attorney can help you determine what constitutes comparable evidence.)

Q: What is O-2 visa?

A: The O-2 category applies to aliens accompanying an O-1 artist or athlete to assist in a specific event or performance. This person would be acting as an essential and integral part of the artistic or athletic performance of an O-1 artist or athlete because he or she performs support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1.

Q: What is O-3 visa?

A: Spouses and minor children of O-1 are admitted under O-3 status with the same restrictions as the principal. They may not work in the U.S. under this classification.

Q: How are O-1 cases handled by Liu & Associates?

A: All cases including O-1 cases are diligently handled by experienced attorneys at Liu & Associates. We strictly follow the deadlines set forth in our work procedures to process each individual case efficiently and effectively. For details about our work procedure for processing O-1 cases at Liu & Associates, please click HERE for a Step by Step Procedure Flowchart.

Q: What is the approval rate of O-1 cases handled by Liu & Associates?

A: The approval rate of O-1 cases handled by Liu & Associates is close to 100%. Our attorneys have helped U.S. companies, universities, and research institutes to obtain O-1 visas or status for qualified foreign workers. Click HERE for Sample Approved O-1 Cases.

Q: How do I know if I am qualified for the O-1 petition?

A: If you are interested in knowing whether you are qualified for O-1, please e-mail you resume or CV to Attorney Z. Zac Liu at zliu@niwus.com for a free evaluation. Attorney Liu will personally evaluate the case based on the information provided in your resume or CV and notify you of your qualifications for O-1 within two business days.

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