Individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, educational field, business field, or athletic community may qualify for O-1 classification in the United States. This includes people who have shown extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and are internationally recognized for their abilities.
O-1 visas are can be divided into four related categories:
O-1A individuals possess extraordinary abilities in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. O-1A classification is not granted to people who are successful in the arts, motion picture, or television industry. O-1B individuals are nationally or internationally recognized for their abilities and achievements in the motion picture or television industry. O-2 visa holders accompany O-1 artists or athletes. O-1A visa holders may be accompanied by O-2 visa holders if they are an imperative part of the O-1A’s production. In the case of someone successful in the motion picture or television industry, O-2s must be labeled “essential” to the O-1B’s production. O-3 refers the spouse or children of an O-1 or O-2.
In order to obtain an O-1 visa, you must meet a variety of requirements. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you must demonstrate exemplary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be entering the United States to continue working in your given field. You may possess ability in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics. In short, you must be in a small percentage of highly acclaimed individuals in your field.
In the arts, “extra ordinary ability” is determined by your level of distinction. Your skills are distinct if you have risen to a high level of achievement in the field of the arts – substantially above the status quo. An O-1 classification requires that the visa holder’s skills and abilities are renowned, well-known, and outstanding. In order to be classified as O-1 in the motion picture or television industry, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievement. Achievements may be acknowledged by a degree of skill as well as public recognition.
To apply for an O-1 visa, you must first file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. You may not file this petition more than one year before you plan on arriving in the United States. In addition to a Form I-129, you must present a consultation as well. A consultation is a written advisory from a peer group with specific expertise in the area of your ability. This consultation may also be written by a person representing the peer group. If the O-1 petition is for an individual in the motion picture or television industry, the consultation should be written by a labor union and management organization.
Once your petition has been accepted, you are permitted to stay in the United States under O-1 classification for up to three years. The visa is intended to last as long as you need to accomplish you work. This time frame will be determined by the USCIS. If you wish to petition for a longer stay, you may do so by filing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. This form must be accompanied by a copy of your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record and a statement explaining your reasons for staying longer than expected.
Your family may accompany you to the United States. However, children more than 21 years of age or children that are married may not accompany under O-3 classification. You family is subject to the same period of admission and the same limitations as you. Although your spouse and children are not permitted to work under the restrictions of an O-3 nonimmigrant visa, they may participate in part- or full-time studies while in the United States. To see if you qualify, contact a New York business immigration attorney from our law firm now.