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February 15, 2024

What is an O-1 visa to the USA?

  • US O-1 visas can allow you to stay in the USA for an unlimited amount of time.
  • You can apply for an O-1 at any time of the year without participating in a quota lottery, which is required, for example, for an H-1B visa.
  • You can qualify for an O-1 visa without a high school or college degree.
  • Unlike the H-1B visa, there is no minimum salary requirement for the O-1 visa.
  • For an additional fee of $2805, you can get a decision within 15 calendar days.
  • An O-1 holder can bring their spouses and minor children (under 21 years) to the USA on an O-3 visa, and professional assistants on an O-2 visa.
  • Flexible working arrangements. You can have your own company, be employed by an organization or work with an agent.
Types of the US O-1 visa

There are two O-1 categories:

1. O-1 A visa is for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.

2. O-1B visa is for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.

There are two ways to qualify for an O-1A visa:
  1. You must be a recipient of a significant national or international award, such as the Nobel Prize.
  2. Or meet at least three of the eight criteria of outstanding abilities.

Criteria of outstanding abilities for an O-1A visa for the USA : 

  • Awards. You have received significant nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards in your field.
  • Membership. You are a member of a professional organization or community.
  • Published material about you. You were featured in publications or interviews in the national or international press.
  • Judging. You have served as a judge in a professional contest in your field.
  • Original contribution. You have made a significant contribution to the development of your industry, for example, through patents or publications about your work and projects.
  • Authorship of scholarly articles. You have been an author or co-author of publications in major or industry media or academic journals.
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity. You have held an important position in a well-known company.
  • High salary. You were highly remunerated in the company.
To qualify for O-1B you have to either 
  1. Be a recipient of a significant national or international award or prize, such as Grammy.
  2. Or meet at least three of the following six criteria of extraordinary abilities.
O-1B criteria for extraordinary abilities 
  • Previous or future performance as a lead or starring participant in reputable events or performance. This has to be evidenced by critical reviews, ads, public releases, or contracts.
  • Proof of national or international recognition of your work. You have to show publications by or about you in major newspapers and magazines.
  • Publications and testimonials proving your previous or future performance in a lead, starring, or critical role for prestigious companies or organizations.
  • Major commercial or critically acclaimed successes. You have to provide ratings, box office receipts, or publications in trade journals and major newspapers.
  • Evidence of your recognition in a form of testimonials from recognized experts, critics, industry leaders, or important organizations.
  • Proof of receiving a high salary or other remuneration. 

Supporting documents must be submitted to demonstrate that you meet the criteria. Their quality and credibility are key to a successful visa application. In our blog, we will explain the necessary criteria in detail.  In order for compliance to be satisfied it is necessary to provide supporting documents. Their quality and persuasiveness are the keys to successfully obtaining the visa. We will outline all of the specifics in our blog.

Learn your chances or book a free consultation with our team to learn more about the O-1 visa.

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