Find Your Perfect Way to the USA

A Guide for Deciding on Your US Visa
Free consultation
Which visa suits you best
Apply for an O-1 non-immigrant visa,



and then apply for an immigrant visa (EB-1 or EB-2 NIW), if needed

Advantages of the O-1 Visa

If you’re interested in immigrating to the US, the O-1 visa provides a unique path to relocation with many benefits:
No quota

Unlike H-1B visas, there is no maximum number of O-1 visas a year that immigration officers can issue
No tie to a specific employer

H1-B visas also tie you to an employer and have a minimum salary of $60000 yearly, whereas O-1 visas don’t require you to have any specific salary, and you can be your own boss by opening a business or work for multiple employers through an agent scheme
Family reunification

Your spouse and children can apply for O-3 dependent visas to accompany you to the US
Pathway to a green card

The O-1 visa is a stepping stone to getting a green card
In 2023 alone, 19,892 O-1 visa applications were submitted. Of these, 18,994 were approved — that’s 95%.
O-2 and O-3 Accompanying Visas
  • O-2 visas are for individuals who will accompany an O-1 artist or athlete to assist in a special event or performance. For example, this could be their manager.

  • O-3 visas are for family reunification (spouse or children) of O-1 or O-2 visa holders.
Differences Between O-1A and O-1B Visas
  • O-1A visas are for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. For example, software developers or CEOs.
  • O-1B visas are intended for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or television/film industry. For example, comedians, actresses, or dancers.
How to Qualify for
You’ll need to prove you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.
You’ll need to prove you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.

If you have won a major award, like a Nobel Prize or Olympic medal, then this is usually enough to prove extraordinary ability. However, winning a major award isn’t necessary.

In fact, you can meet the requirements just by simply presenting at least three of the following:

International or national prizes or awards in your industry

Provide a photo of a trophy or photocopy of a certificate and attach a supporting letter, describing in great detail the history of the competition, how many people were considered, how many people pay any notice to this, the criteria you had to meet to be considered, who the judges were, etc.

Membership in an association for professionals with outstanding abilities

Provide a certificate of membership or personal account of a member or another form of proof. You’ll need to also add confirmation that the association only accepts truly outstanding members. This can be proven with membership rules or a letter from a senior member. Provide links, the bylaws, and proof of how you were accepted.

Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you

Provide a copy of the article along with its translation, if needed. Also include a screenshot, dictating the website traffic. You’ll also need to prove the authority of the publication by its position in ratings, volumes of citations, or other means.

Original contributions of major significance to your field

You can provide proof of this by including copies of research papers, patents, copyrights, or proof your project was the first one to use any specific new technology.

Authorship of articles in professional journals, or other major media

Include the publication text, cover, publication date, source, table of contents, and certificate of publication. Also include reviews of your work and a conclusion from the publishing house. If it’s a scientific research article, you’ll need to include people who have cited your work, the impact factor, and DOI. However, depending on your field, proving this may look different. For example, if you were a coder, you could showcase your article that was featured in a professional media outlet.

Employment in a critical or essential capacity for a company or organization that has a distinguished reputation

To prove that your company has a distinguished reputation, you’ll need to provide a description of the company’s work and show awards, top ratings, any press coverage of the company, evidence of financial success such as annual shareholder reviews or volume of sales, the number of employees and offices, any patented solutions, and anything else that’s important to your company and its success. You’ll also need to prove that you worked in an essential role with letters from your bosses, investors, or managers.

Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others

You can provide proof of this by including copies of research papers, patents, copyrights, or proof your project was the first one to use any specific new technology.

Proof that you commanded or will command a high salary or other remuneration

For this, you’ll need to prove your salary is considerably higher than the average salary of a specialist in the same profession as you. To do this, you’ll need to provide articles or statistics on the labor market in your region.
Although providing 3 of these requirements is necessary to receive an acceptance, we highly recommend you to provide as many documents as you can, meeting as many requirements as possible.
Similarly with the O-1A visa, if you have won a major award, like a Grammy or Oscar, then this would usually be enough to prove your extraordinary ability. However, it’s not necessary to have one of these awards, as you’ll be able to meet the requirements by providing at least three of the following:
  • Proof of your previous or future performance as a lead or starring participant in reputable events or performance as evidenced by critical reviews, ads, public releases, or contracts
  • Proof of national or international recognition of your work, as shown by 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 as shown by 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
Although providing 3 of these requirements is necessary to receive an approval, we highly recommend you to provide as many documents as you can, meeting as many requirements as possible.
Take a quick test to find out your chances
How to Establish Your Own Company or Find a Job in the US for the O-1 Visa?
Since the O-1 visa is a work-based nonimmigrant visa, you’ll have to have an employer in the US. You also must be employed in the same field as your area of expertise. For example, if you are an excellent product manager, then you should be a product manager in the US. If you are an amazing athlete, then you should get a job as an athlete, not as a sports coach.
This can be done in one of three ways:
  • Getting a job offer in the US, which is the more straightforward, but time-consuming route
  • Opening your own company in the US with a co-founder, board member, partner, or manager with the authority to sign contracts and hiring yourself  
  • Using an agent and providing a letter with a detailed employment plan and letters of intent from future employers
Our trusted partners →
Relogate can help determine which option is best for you and help secure it.
Check out some of the successful cases we wrote about:
Family Reunification Rights
With the O-1 visa, you can bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the US. They can apply for O-3 nonimmigrant visas. Their visas will be issued for the same period that yours is. One notable difference though is that O-3 dependent visa holders do not have the right to work in the US. However, children have the right to go to public school.
Changing or Extending Your Visa
If you need to change your job while on the O-1 visa, you must file a new petition. Most often, all of your old files can be used for the new petition, and if you were already approved once, it's most likely that you will get a new O-1 visa.

If you wish to extend your stay and continue working at the same company, your employer or agent must file Form I-129 and provide a copy of your Form I-94 and a statement explaining the reason for your extension. This statement should describe the precise job that was the basis for your original approval and confirm that the extension is necessary for you to continue or complete the same activity. In addition to this, your family members must file Form I-539 to stay as well.
Switching from an O-1 Visa to an EB visa
If you want to move to the US permanently, you might want to consider an O-1 visa first. It’s faster and easier than EB visas. However, once you’re in the US, you can work on strengthening your case, adding new evidence, and then applying for an EB visa.

You can apply for a switch in your status by filing Form I-140 and Form I-485 once the I-140 is approved. You’ll have to include a dossier like before for the immigration officer to look over, but once your petition has been approved, it can take around 90 days to receive your green card.

Advantages of the EB-1 Visa

The main benefit of the EB-1 visa is that it is an immigration visa that gives you a green card, so you have the right to apply for citizenship after a required minimum amount of time in the US.  This is a work visa, but in order to obtain it, you don’t have to show a concrete job offer. Instead, you need to write a letter about your work intentions once in the US.
EB-1A

For talented individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics fields with sustained national or international acclaim
  • Examples: Founders or managing partners
EB-1B

For outstanding professors or researchers with international recognition for outstanding achievements and at least 3 years of experience
EB-1C

For certain multinational managers or executives
In 2023, there were 15,905 petitions submitted for an EB-1A visa. Of these, 10,356 were approved — that’s only 65%.
Check out some of the successful cases we wrote about:
How to Qualify for
To qualify for an EB-1A visa, you’ll need to show at least 3 of the criteria below:

International or national prizes or awards in your industry

Provide a photo of a trophy or photocopy of a certificate and attach a supporting letter, describing in great detail the history of the competition, how many people were considered, how many people pay any notice to this, the criteria you had to beat to be considered, who the judges were, etc.

Membership in an association for professionals with outstanding abilities

Provide a certificate of membership or personal account of a member or another form of proof. You’ll need to also add confirmation that the association only accepts truly outstanding members. This can be proven with membership rules or a letter from management. Provide links, the bylaws, and proof of how you were accepted.

Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you

Provide a copy of the article along with its translation, if needed. Also include a screenshot, dictating the website traffic. You’ll also need to prove the authority of the publication by its position in ratings, volumes of citations, or other means.

Original contributions of major significance to your field

You can provide proof of this by including copies of research papers, patents, copyrights, or proof your project was the first one to use any specific new technology.

Authorship of articles in professional or major trade publications or major media

Include the publication text, cover, publication date, source, table of contents, and certificate of publication. Also include reviews of your work and a conclusion from the publishing house. If it’s a scientific research article, you’ll need to include people who have cited your work, the impact factor, and DOI. However, depending on your field, proving this may look different. For example, if you were a coder, you could showcase your article that was featured in a professional media outlet.

Employment in a critical or essential capacity for a company or organization that has a distinguished reputation

To prove that your company has a distinguished reputation, you’ll need to provide a description of the company’s work and show awards, top ratings, any press coverage of the company, evidence of financial success such as annual shareholder reviews or volume of sales, the number of employees and offices, any patented solutions, and anything else that’s important to your company and its success. You’ll also need to prove that you worked in an essential role with letters from your bosses, investors, or managers.

Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others

Include copies of official meeting documents, mentions of the event in the newspaper, or other proof.

Proof of a high salary or other remuneration

For this, you’ll need to prove your salary is considerably higher than the average salary of a specialist in the same profession as you. To do this, you’ll need to provide articles or statistics on the labor market in your region.

Proof of your commercial success in the performing arts

You can demonstrate this by showing box office ticket sales, reviews, the number of places it was shown, or other documents.

Proof that your work has been displayed in exhibitions or showcases

For this, you can include newspaper clippings, the leaflet from the showcase or exhibition, letters of support from the manager of the showcase or exhibition, or other documents.
You’ll need to prove you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.
EB-1B

You’ll need to provide an offer of employment from a prospective US employer. The employer must show that it employs at least 3 full-time researchers. In addition to this, you’ll need to meet at least 2 of the 6 criteria below:
  • International or national awards in your industry
  • Membership in associations for outstanding members in your field
  • Published articles about you and your contributions to academia
  • Proof that you’ve been asked to be on a judging panel for a competition in academia
  • Original scientific or scholarly research in your field
  • Authored scholarly books or articles in scientific journals with international circulation
EB-1C

Your petitioning employer must be a US employer that intends to employ you in a managerial or executive role. The employer must have been doing business in the US for at least 1 year already as a legal entity with a relationship to the entity that employed you abroad in a managerial or executive role.
Take a quick test to find out your chances

Advantages of the EB-2 NIW Visa

The main benefit of the EB-2 NIW visa is that it is an immigration visa that gives you a green card, so you have the right to apply for citizenship after a required minimum amount of time in the US.

The “NIW” in EB-2 stands for “National Interest Waiver,” which is an exemption from the labor certification and job offer requirement process due to special abilities.

There are 2 subcategories of the EB-2 NIW visa:
  • Applicants with an advanced degree
  • Applicants with exceptional ability: you’ll have to prove exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business field
In 2023, there were a total of 39,803 EB-2 NIW petitions. Of those, 31,889 were accepted — around 80%.
How to Qualify for EB-2 NIW Visa
If you have an advanced degree, you’ll need to show an official academic record showing your advanced degree. If you have just a bachelor’s degree, then you’ll need to show letters from current or former employers proving that you have at least 5 years of relevant work experience in your specialty after receiving your bachelor’s degree.

If you’re going the exceptional ability route, you’ll need to meet at least 3 of the criteria below:
  • An official academic record showing that you have a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning relating to your area of exceptional ability
  • Letters from current or former employers documenting at least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation
  • A license or certification to practice your profession
  • Proof of receiving higher compensation than your peers due to your experience
  • Membership in associations for outstanding members in your field
  • Recognition for your achievements and significant contributions to your industry or field by your peers, government entities, or professional or business organizations
  • Any other comparable evidence of eligibility that is relevant to your field
Take a quick test to find out your chances
Family Reunification Rights
If your EB-1 or EB-2 NIW petition is approved, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply for admission to the United States for E-21 or E-22 immigrant status, respectively. They will also be given green cards, which allow them the ability to study, work, and apply for citizenship after 5 years.
Responsibilities of US Residents
Once you receive your residency, you will officially be a US tax resident and will be required to file a tax return every year. US taxes can be quite complicated, and so you may want to utilize the help of a tax attorney, accountant, or tax software.

If you are a green card holder, you must not be outside of the US for a period of more than 6 months. If you are spending more time outside of the US than within the US and fail to inform immigration that you are giving up your green card, immigration will consider this green card abandonment, and you will face potential US re-entry denial in future trips. They also may refuse to give you a visa or green card in the future.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have to leave the US for educational reasons, you must inform immigration beforehand so they approve your long-term absence, and you must apply for re-entry.

In addition to these tax and residence responsibilities, males from the ages of 18-25 that are green card holders must apply for Selective Service, in the rare case that the government begins a draft for a war.
Applying for US Citizenship
After holding your EB-1 or EB-2 NIW green card for 60 months, you will be eligible to apply for US citizenship. It’s important to note that during this time period, you should have no absence that lasts longer than 1 year, and overall, half of the entire time of holding the green card must have been spent in the US. In addition to this, the US requires you to be a person of upstanding moral character.

In addition to gaining a US passport and voting rights, you will also become a permanent US tax resident. The United States is one of the few countries in the world that taxes its expats, so if you ever move abroad but still have US citizenship, you will still have to file taxes.
Official Information Sites:

Case Structure

Forms and official documents

First, you will need to provide the following forms:
  • Form I-129 - Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker or Form I-140 - Petition for an Immigrant Worker, which is used to obtain a permanent residency
  • Form G-28 - Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, which establishes the eligibility of your attorney or accredited representative to represent you
  • Form G-1145 - e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, which will allow the US government to communicate with you and convey any approval via email or text
Additionally, if you’re already in the US, you’ll need to file:
  • Form I-539 - Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, which allows you to extend your existing nonimmigrant status or change your existing nonimmigrant status
Optionally, if you would like to have your case reviewed at the fastest processing speeds (in 15-45 days), then you’ll need to pay a premium processing fee of $2,805 and file:
  • Form I-907 - Request for Premium Processing Service, which allows you to take advantage of faster processing and speed up the whole process
Official Documents:
  • Duty payment receipt forms
  • Scans of your passport(s) and US visa(s), if any
  • Scans of the passports of any accompanying family members, along with copies of their marriage/birth certificates

Case documents

  • Cover letter that is drafted by an immigration attorney. This is the most important document, as the immigration officer will first read it in full and make a decision based upon whether or not to continue. In this document, the immigration attorney states the client’s eligibility and provides excerpts, links, and quotes from the accompanying evidence documents to confirm every word and save the officer time from having to jump from page to page in the packet of 700+ pages of evidence. This cover letter can range from 20-100 pages, depending on the case.
  • Thorough evidence documents that confirm your eligibility. This can run anywhere from 700-3000 pages. For example, if you need to prove that you have a high salary for your field based on your experience, you’ll have to provide a letter from an expert in your field, a certificate from a salary comparison website, published statistics, articles about salary rates, and a translated tax report. So each piece of evidence that you provide requires many pages. Furthermore, we always show as much evidence as possible.
Publicity Enhancement
Having a great publicity when applying for a talent visa can vastly increase your chances. If your publicity needs enhancement, Relogate provides additional services. Publicity might look like this:
  • New stories written about you or your work
  • Good search engine results when someone looks up your name
  • Interviews given to media outlets
  • Being featured as a judge on a competition
  • Being a keynote speaker at an event
Our trusted partners →
Common Errors
Make sure you don’t fall for these common traps:
  • Don’t list more than one professional activity. For example, if you are an actor and a director, choose one. Don’t list both.
  • Don’t make claims without hard evidence. If you claim you are the best performing member on your team, back it up with proof.
  • Don’t choose a different career from a sudden career change. Make sure your timeline of experience matches up.
  • Don’t forget to make sure all your forms are up-to-date and include signatures, if needed.
  • Don’t underestimate including recommendation letters. These letters can be crucial to your case. They should be in great detail and discuss your work and success. The people who write the recommendations should be recognized and reputable experts in your field, giving your whole application an extra boost.
Types of Immigration Answers
When you submit your case, there are 4 answers the immigration authorities can give you:
  • Approval
  • RFE: An RFE is a Request for Evidence. If you receive an RFE, Relogate can help to collect the additional documents required and submit them to the immigration authorities to receive an approval. An RFE is a suspended sentence without a final answer until you follow the instructions they give you. Usually, an RFE letter begins with citing the US law, lists the evidence you already provided, what documents they still need, and how much time you have to gather the documents and submit them.
  • Rejection: If your case is rejected, it means there was a technical error in your application, and no decision was made. In this case, your attorney would find out the cause of rejection. It can be disappointing to receive a rejection, but it’s also good news, because you can fix the problem and send it back.
  • Denial: If your case is denied, it means an immigration officer looked at your case and decided you did not fit the requirements. However, you can appeal the decision. In an appeal, a secondary officer reviews the reasoning for the first officer’s rejection. You can also file a motion to reopen if your case now has new information that wasn’t available at the original time of filing. You could also elect to file a motion to reconsider and give specific legal arguments as to why the denial was wrong.
Steps After Case Submission At The Embassy
After receiving your approval, you will either have to go to the US embassy or consulate in your place of residence to get a visa, or if you are already in the United States, you will have to apply for a change of status. However, if you want to travel outside the US and your current visa is expiring soon, then you’ll need to apply at an embassy. After entering the US on an immigrant visa or changing your status, it may take up to 90 days to get your green card issued. Also, if you chose to switch your status inside the US, it is advisable to stay in the US until your green card is issued, because if you leave, you’ll have to return to the US embassy to get a new visa to reenter the country.

Interview

If everything is all right and you are invited to the interview, you will have to complete a medical examination and complete any required vaccinations before the interview if you’re applying for an EB visa. You and any accompanying family members must make an appointment with an authorized physician in the country you’re applying in. The doctor must be an embassy-approved doctor. After the exam, the doctor will either send the exam results directly to the embassy or give you a sealed envelope that you must not open and must bring to your interview. The embassy requires you not to have opened the envelope to make sure the results were not tampered with.

At the interview, remember to practice your answers in advance. You should be calm, collected, and confident.

Questions you will be asked at the interview

The questions are usually pretty straightforward, such as:
  • What is your name?
  • What company do you work for?
  • Have you ever been to the US before?
  • Where will you be living while in the US?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • How long have you been working in your field?
  • What are your extraordinary abilities that make you eligible for a talent visa?

Documents you might need at the embassy

  • Passports valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States
  • DS-160 confirmation page that confirms your embassy appointment
  • Application fee payment receipt
  • Visa photos (if requested on DS-160)
  • Copy of your approval notice
  • Any official higher education diplomas you included in your case
  • Resume

NB!

In rare cases, the embassy may issue a refusal under section 221(g), this means that you did not establish eligibility for the visa. In this case, they may ask for you to provide some more documents, which you must do in a timely manner.

In other rare cases, they may also do administrative processing, where they take an even closer look at your case to make sure you’re not a security threat. Applicants whose work specializes in AI might be susceptible to administrative processing.
Costs & Timelines
The cost of our services for an O-1 visa starts at €9500, and your case can be ready in 2-3 months if publicity enhancement is not required. In addition to this, USCIS will issue a final decision in 1-5 months or in 15 days if you pay for premium processing. You’ll have to pay a $205 visa fee for each family member if you’re applying at an embassy. If you’re already in the US, you’ll need to pay a $530 or $1055 base fee and a $300 or $600 asylum fee depending on the company size. In addition to this, if you'd like to take advantage of premium processing, the cost is $2805.

EB-1 and EB-2 NIW visa services start at €14000, and your case can be ready in 3-4 months if you don’t need publicity enhancement. In addition to this, USCIS will issue a final decision in 6-12 months or in 15-45 days if you pay for premium processing. You’ll have to pay a $345 visa fee for each family member if you’re applying at an embassy. If you’re already in the US, you’ll need to pay a $715 base fee for each application, as well as an asylum fee of $300 for individuals and small companies or $600 for companies with more than 25 employees and an extra $1125 status adjustment fee. In addition to this, if you'd like to take advantage of premium processing, the cost is $2805.
Reasons to Include an Immigration Attorney
Immigration law is complicated, and sometimes it’s hard to hack the mind of an immigration officer. That’s why having an immigration attorney ensures that you’ll have the best chances. An immigration attorney can advise on which visa path best fits your qualifications, the best way to proceed with employment, how to enhance your publicity, and a general case strategy. In addition to this, only immigration attorneys have the right to give legal advice. And an immigration attorney would be the one to write your cover letter, which is the case’s most important document.
Our trusted immigration attorneys →
Reasons to Work with Relogate
Putting Relogate in charge of your case ensures quality and saves you valuable time and money. We work side-by-side with immigration attorneys and have a 97%  success rate. We write all the necessary documents and have a wide network of partners who can enhance your publicity, assist with employment, help with translations, and more. Working with Relogate can give you the extra boost of security needed for such an important immigration decision.
Check out our US page to learn about the application process with Relogate.
Learn More
Interested in learning more? Our team is here to help! You can check out our blog, or book a consultation with us today!
Free consultation