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O-VISA APPLICATION PROCESS OVERVIEW

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THE O-VISA PETITION

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is issued to qualified individuals  who have extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; or those with a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and national or international recognition for those achievements.

CLASSIFICATION

O-1A: This visa designation is for eligible persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics

O-1B: This visa classification is for eligible persons with outstanding ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry

O-2: This visa classification is for eligible individuals who are accompanying an O-1 artist or athlete to help with a specific event or performance

O-3: Visa designation is for the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s

O-1A FOR ALIENS IN THE SCIENCES, EDUCATION, BUSINESS, AND ATHLETICS.

⚖️ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

To qualify for one of these visas, the prospective recipient must demonstrate his or her outstanding talent through ongoing national or international acclaim. He or she must also be coming here for a brief time to continue work in the area in which he or she excels.

Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics is defined as a level of expertise signifying that someone is an elite group that has risen to the very top of the area of endeavor.

📑SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS 

For these fields, the prospective recipient must show that he/she is in the top of his or respective field. This can be established through evidence of receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize. In absence of such an award, no less than three of the following types of evidence are required:

➡️ A written statement from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in his or her area of ability

➡️ A copy of a relevant contract between the employer and prospective recipient or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the person will be working

➡️ Evidence that the alien has received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or proof of at least three of the following:

Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized honors for excellence in the field of endeavor

Membership in associations in the area for which classification is sought that require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts;

Material published by or that has appeared in the mainstream media or other news outlets/publications pertaining to the prospective recipient and his or her  work in the field for which classification is sought;

Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of great importance in the field;

Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major publications in the field for which classification is sought;

Significant compensation for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable document;

Work in a vital capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization similar to the discipline for which classification is sought;

If the above standards do not readily apply to the person’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the person’s eligibility.

O-1B FOR ALIENS IN THE ARTS, MOTION PICTURES, OR TELEVISION

⚖️ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The beneficiary must demonstrate outstanding talent by ongoing national or international acclaim and must be coming here for a brief time specifically to continue work in his or her discipline.

Extraordinary ability in the field of arts is also defined as distinction. This means an exceptional level of achievement in the field of the arts as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly greater than that ordinarily encountered.  To be recognized as someone with distinction, the person must also be renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

Or 

In the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate exceptional talent evidenced by a level of skill and recognition significantly greater than that ordinarily encountered. He or she must be recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.

📑SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS 

The following are required as proof of eligibility:

➡  If the petition is based on the person’s exceptional ability  in the arts, the statement must be from a peer group (including labor organizations) in the person’s field of endeavor; or a person or persons designated by the group with expertise in the person’s area of ability

➡  If the petition is based on the person’s extraordinary achievements in the motion picture or television industry, separate statements are required from a labor and a management organization with expertise in the person’s field of endeavor.

➡  A copy of any relevant contract between the employer and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which he or she will be employed;

➡  Proof that the prospective recipient has received, or been nominated for, significant national or international honors, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award, or evidence of at least three of the following:

That he or she has 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

That he or she has received national or international recognition for his or her work, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in the mainstream media or other publication

That he or she has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as demonstrated by 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

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;

That he or she receives significant compensation for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable documents

If the above standards do not readily apply to the person’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the person’s eligibility.

O-2 SUPPORT PERSONNEL

⚖️ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

If the O-2 petition is for support of someone with outstanding ability in athletics or the arts, the consultation must be from a relevant labor group;

Or

If the O-2 petition is for support of someone with exceptional accomplishments t in motion pictures or television, the consultation must come from a relevant  labor group and a management organization with significant knowledge about the skill involved in that area.

Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement:

If the petitioner can prove that there is no appropriate peer group, such as a labor organization, the decision will be based on the evidence provided.

📑SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS 

The evidence should establish that the O-2 beneficiary now provides essential or critical skills to the O-1 beneficiary and that he or she has significant experience performing said skills and essential support services for the O-1.

In the case of a specific motion picture or television production, there should be proof demonstrating that significant production has taken place overseas and will also take place inside the United States, and that the production cannot be finished without the continuing participation of the O-2 beneficiary.

O-3 DEPENDENTS

⚖️ ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

This visa designation is available to qualified spouse who is accompanying or later coming to the United States to join his or her husband/wife who has received an O-1A or O-1B visa. It is also available to his or her qualified children (less than 21 years of age) who are coming here for the same reason.

It is issued for the same length of stay and limitations as the O-1/O-2 nonimmigrant.  The recipient(s) may not work here under this classification, but they may engage in full or part time study.

📑SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS 

Required documents include a passport and birth certificate.

🗂 MATERIALS TO BE SENT IS AS FOLLOWS:

The following must be sent to USCIS:

1️⃣Form I-129 with O Supplement;

2️⃣Supporting documents based on your O-Visa classification

3️⃣Filing fee

FILING FEE / WHERE TO SEND PACKAGE

The filing fee is $460

For the most up-to-date information about where to file this benefit request, visit the Direct filing addresses for form i-129 page 

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