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O-1 Visa

What is a O-1 Visa?

The O-1 is an employment-based, nonimmigrant visa for those with extraordinary ability and achievement in education, business, the arts, the sciences or athletics. Those who have achieved national or international recognition for work in the motion picture industry or television are also eligible.

There are two O-1 visas. The O-1A visa is for people who have extraordinary ability in athletics, the sciences, business or education. The O-1B visa is for those who have extraordinary achievement and ability in the television industry or who can prove extraordinary ability in the arts.

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If you feel you may be eligible for an O-1 visa, speak to an immigration attorney. A qualified immigration lawyer in Austin, Texas can help you determine whether you qualify. They can also assist in the documentation of your achievements and help you through the application process. If you are looking for an immigration attorney for your O-1 visa application, contact Morales & Sparks for a consultation.

Eligibility for an O-1 Visa

You may be eligible for an O-1A visa if you have won a major award in the arts, television or film — for example, if you have won an Olympic medal, the Nobel Prize or another award of that caliber. If you have not won a major award recognized by the international community, you may still be eligible if you can prove at least three of the following:

  • You are a member of an association where outstanding ability or attainment in your field is a membership requirement.
  • Articles have been written about you and your achievements in major media outlets.
  • You have won a recognized award in your field.
  • You have acted as a judge for other competitors or participants in your field.
  • You have received a high wage or remuneration for your work in the field, when compared with others in the same field.
  • You have made original and recognized significant contributions to your field.
  • You have written scholarly publications, books or articles in your field.
  • You pay a key role in an esteemed association or organization in your field.

You may be eligible for an O-1B visa if you demonstrate outstanding ability in the arts or outstanding achievement and ability in television or film. You may be able to prove this by winning a major award, such as an Oscar, Emmy or other major award. If you have not won a major award, you can still prove eligibility by illustrating you have achieved at least three (3) of the following:

  • Had articles written about you and your achievements in major media outlets.
  • Have had or will have a leading role in a major event or production.
  • Have been recognized by experts in the field.
  • Have received high remuneration compared to others in the same field.
  • Have had major commercial and/or critical success over a period of time.
  • Play a key role in a recognized and respected association or organization in your field.

Applying for an O-1 Visa

To obtain an O-1 visa, Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) must be filed, preferably at least 45 days or more before the applicant is expected to work in the United States. As part of the application process, a written advisory opinion must be written by an expert in the field or by a peer group. In addition, applicants must submit an itinerary of the work they will perform in the United States as well as a contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary.

If the petition is successful, an O-1 visa holder may remain in the United States on the visa for up to three years. The actual time granted on the visa may depend on the itinerary and the stated intentions of the employment.

Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer for an O-1 Visa?

If you are applying for an O-1 visa, speaking with an attorney can be useful. A qualified immigration attorney in Austin, Texas — like the attorneys at Morales & Sparks — can help you understand whether you qualify for an O-1 visa or whether another visa might be more appropriate. Attorneys can help you secure the documentation you need for the application and can offer advice about which achievements are most impressive for immigration authorities. Attorneys at Morales & Sparks can also guide you through the process, addressing any barriers to your application and answering any questions you may have.

If you are looking for a lawyer for an O-1 visa application, schedule a consultation with Morales & Sparks. The legal team at Morales & Sparks are dedicated to helping petitioners and applicants in Austin and surrounding areas. Our compassionate and caring team offers services in both English and Spanish.

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