The O1 visa classification is for people who are at the top of their fields of endeavor in the sciences, the arts, education, business, or athletics as well as motion pictures and television.
In order words, if you have an O1 visa, you have done very well in your field and have been recognized for those achievements. The evidence will vary according to the field of endeavor and standard of proof. Back to FAQs
The O1 visa allows a foreign national with extraordinary ability to live and work in the U.S. for an initial grant of three (3) years. However, this visa can be renewed for one year at a time to continue or complete the same event or activity or another three years via a different petitioner and may be extended indefinitely.Back to FAQs
Although it is a higher standard of proof, the O1 nonimmigrant visa does have an immigrant visa that corresponds under the EB1 preference category. The O1 classification holder may apply for permanent residency based on their extraordinary ability in the field of sciences, education, arts, business, or athletics (EB1). In some cases, the O1 may be approved but the case is not strong enough for the immigrant visa and that individual may need to apply through another immigrant classification such as a National Waiver Interest Waiver (EB2) or PERM labor certification (EB2 or EB3).
The terrific advantage of the EB1 green card process for extraordinary ability is that you can completely sponsor yourself. No employer-employee relationship needed.Back to FAQs
No. The dependent spouse of an O1 visa holder is not allowed to work in the U.S. That spouse would need their own work visa to do so or wait until they are in adjustment of status when a work permit is issued. Back to FAQs
There is no numerical cap for O1 – extraordinary abilities visas. Back to FAQs
Yes. You can transfer you O1 visa from one employer or sponsor to another one. However, you must wait until the transfer application is approved to start working for the new employer or sponsor. Back to FAQs
The average time for processing an O1 visa is between 2 and 4 months, even without premium processing. If premium processing is chosen, then USCIS will act on your case within 15 days. With regular processing, the processing time can vary depending on many factors including the extraordinary ability of the applicant, the processing center/adjudicator assigned to the case, and the strength of the supporting documentation. Errors or omissions will delay the application. Back to FAQs
Not necessarily. You will need to prove to USCIS that you were and are an expert in your field of expertise, i.e. coaching that sport. It may be important for you to gain some experience in coaching first and attain that level of expertise as a coach if that is the route you want to pursue. You will have to show sustained national or international acclaim as a coach. Back to FAQs
No. There are many other criteria for which you can qualify other than this one, as long as you meet three of them or if you have been nominated or won a significant national or international award or prize. Note that the criteria for extraordinary ability in sciences, business, education, athletics are different that for the ones applied to the arts which require distinction.
You may be very well compensated for your efforts but lacking in critical acclaim. This is where evidence may have to be brainstormed and developed. The other comparable evidence criteria can be very helpful in this respect. Back to FAQs
While the O-1 visa is not a self-employment visa, you may apply for the O-1 through a business in which you have ownership as long as the business activities relate to your field of extraordinary ability and you are not the sole decision-maker in the company. There must be a bona fide employer – employee relationship. Back to FAQs