O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
Non-immigrants who can demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or those who have demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or TV industry may qualify for an O-1 Visa. There are two classifications of the O-1 Visa, the O-1A and the O-1 B Visas. Additionally, the O-1 Visa holder can have an assistant accompany them with an O-2 Visa. Spouses and unmarried minor children (20 years and below) of the O-1 and O-2 visa holders may accompany them with an O-3 Visa.
Two Classifications of O-1 Visa
- O-1A: Individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics which can be demonstrate by sustained national or international acclaim.
- O-1B: Individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts which can be demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or if in the motion picture or TV production industry must have a "demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement" which have been recognized in the field "through extensive documentation." 8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(o)(1)(i).
Definition of Arts, Extraordinary Ability and Achievement
- Arts: "Any field of creative activity or endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, culinary arts, and performing arts. Aliens engaged in the field of arts include not only the principal creators and performers but other essential persons such as, but not limited to, directors, set designers, lighting designers, sound designers, choreographers, choreologists, conductors, orchestrators, coaches, arrangers, musical supervisors, costume designers, makeup artists, flight masters, stage technicians, and animal trainers."
- Extraordinary Ability in Science, Education, Business or Athletics: "A level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. "
- Extraordinary Ability in the Arts: "Distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of 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."
- Extraordinary Achievement: As commonly defined in the motion picture and TV industry, "a very high level of accomplishment in the motion picture or television industry evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person is recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the motion picture or television field." 8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(o)(3)(ii)
Obtaining an O-1 Visa
An O-1 Visa petition can only be filed by an employer or agent in the United States, or if a foreign employer through an agent in the United States on behalf of the O-1 Visa holder.
Note: Obtaining an O-1 Visa is a complicated process and, therefore, it is advisable to contact an Immigration Attorney to ensure a higher probability of success in the O-1 Visa process.