O Visa (Aliens with Extraordinary Ability)
The O visa is for aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, certain aliens accompanying or helping those aliens, and their family members. There is no quota on the number of O visas issued each year.
The O-1 visa can be given only on the basis of individual qualifications. There are three standards for the O-1 visa. The most difficult standard applies to those persons in the sciences, education, business, and athletics; a much less difficult standard applies to individuals in the arts, and a medium-level standard applies to those of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or TV industries. There are a wide variety of requirements for the first category, but for the second category, that of aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts, the alien must show “distinction” in the field, as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above average such that a person is described as prominent, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.
The O-2 visa is for individuals who will accompany and assist in the artistic or athletic performance of an O-1 alien.
O Visa Application Process
The application process for the O visa includes the sponsor and/or applicant filing a petition with the USCIS. The application waiting period will fluctuate but in general, is several months. The USCIS offers an option for premium processing. For a $1,000 fee, the USCIS will process the petition in 15 days.
Our experienced attorneys work with the sponsor and/or applicant to submit the most complete and thorough petition, which emphasizes the applicant’s education, qualifications, and experience. In addition, our attorneys know the processes and procedures to work with various government agencies to ensure the best possible outcome.