International Visa options
The O nonimmigrant category is for the employment of individual aliens who have achieved and sustained national or international acclaim for extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or aliens who have demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement. The category permits an employer to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a nonimmigrant to come to the United States (US) on a temporary basis to continue to work within his or her area of extraordinary ability or achievement.
Features of the O-1:
Documentation must be developed to convince USCIS that the individual has extraordinary ability as defined in the regulation. This burden of proof will probably exclude new graduates and those with few publications. Heavy documentation burden; must obtain an advisory opinion and numerous letters from peers in the field. Sometimes difficult to identify a “peer group” that can provide the required advisory opinion.
Employer must petition and must have employment offer
Employer responsible for return transportation costs.
The Department of Labor is not involved in the O-1 process.
Employee must have extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics as demonstrated by sustained
National or international acclaim
O-1 has an initial 3 year period with one year extensions; no maximum duration limit.
Individuals subject to J two-year rule are eligible for O-1 (They must obtain O visa stamp abroad and make an entry once O-1 is approved, not eligible for change of status.)
Employment under the O classification is limited to the employer who petitions for the individual.
The O does not require the individual proof that they will return to home country.
Substantial documentation needed in at least 3 of the categories from the regulations 8C.F.R. § 214.2 (o) (B) – (C):
1. Documentation of the alien's receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
2. Documentation of the alien's membership in association in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
3. Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien's sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such published material;
4. Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
5. Evidence of the alien's participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization to that for which classification is sought;
6. Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in the filed, in professional journals or other major media;
7. Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
8. Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
A written advisory opinion from a peer group