O1 Visa:

O1 Visa for Arts and Creative Industry, O1 Visa for Entertainment and Film Industry, O1 Visa for Business, Science and Athletics


What is an O-1 Visa?

The O1 Visa, also known as the Extraordinary ability visa, is a highly respectable U.S. work visa for international professionals in the arts, entertainment, sciences and business who have a job offer in the United States. The O1B Visa for Arts and Entertainment Industries is also known as the Artist Visa.

What are the benefits of an O Visa and how long does it last?

The O1 Visa offers several advantages over other visas to work in the United States.
-Unlike other visas to work in the United States, the O1 visa can be obtained for up to 3 years, and renewed indefinitely.
-You can have more than one employer for whom you will be working in the United States, and contracts from all employers can be submitted with your file to allow you to work on several projects during the duration of your O1 visa.
-You can bring your spouse and children on O3 Visas.
-You can bring your support personnel/members of your team on O2 Visas.

Who qualifies for a visa in the O category?

There are a few different types of O visas for different types of individuals:
-O-1A: For individuals in business, science, education, or athletics.
-O-1B: For individuals in the arts or individuals in the film or television industry.
-O-2: This visa is for people who will assist the individual with the O-1 visa for a specific performance or event.
-O-3: This visa is for individuals who are the spouses or children of people with an O-1 or O-2 Visa.

What professions are eligible to qualify for an O1 Visa?

Some of the professions which allow for a person of strong experience to apply for the artist visa include:
Art and Entertainment Industry Professionals: Creative Directors, Architects, Publicists, Writers, Designers, Developers, Sound Engineers, Producers, Directors, Actors, Actresses, Singers, Animators, 3d Artists, Projection Mapping Artists, Theatre Industry Professionals, Coaches
Fine Arts Professionals: Airbrush Artist, Illustrator, Architectural Illustrator, Book Illustrator, Graphic Ilustrator, Textbook Illustrator, Story Board Illustrator, Cartoonist, Caricaturist, Commercial Artist, Painter, Special Effects Artist, Mural Artist, Tattoo Artist, Photographers, Writers, Poets, Authors, Art Directors, Chefs, Culinary Industry Professionals
Beauty and Fashion Professionals: Makeup Artist, Groomer, Hairstylist, Fashion Designer, Clothing Designer, Costume Designer Textile Specialists, Eyelash Artists, Stylists, Consultants Music Industry Professionals: Musicians, Sound Engineers, Disc Jockeys, Singers, Choreographers, Maestros, Teachers, Producers, Directors, Songwriters

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What are the requirements for an O visa?

O1 Visa Sponsor Requirements

The O1 Visa is an employment based visa, thus, you must have an employment offer to apply for the visa. The employment offer is sometimes called the deal memo or job offer. This must be accompanied by an itinerary if you will be working on several different projects in several different locations. The employer can act as your sponsor. A sponsor is a United States corporation or United States resident who will support your application to work in the United States. Your employer can be your sponsor, or you can have a different person acting as an agent for one or multiple employers.

More than one Employer

You can have multiple employers in your application. In fact, this is one of the advantages of the O1 Visa, is that you are allowed to submit multiple job offers and upon approval, work for more than one employer. You must, however, submit all the employers in your application. If you change or add employers during the course of your O1 visa, you must notify the United States government of your change in employment to continue working legally.

O1 Visa Requirements for Artists & Entertainers

The U.S. Government provides a set of guidelines to showcase your extraordinary ability in the arts and motion picture and television, to obtain the O1B Visa. For the arts and motion picture and television, the applicant must show that he or she has acquired "distinction" in his artistic field. "Distinction" means a high level of achievement as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person is described as prominent, leading, or well-known in the field of arts. In the absence of a major internationally recognized award, you must meet at least three of the categories below to qualify.


1) Having been and will be performing a lead or starring role in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation. These are your past projects, work experiences You must prove these by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements. Most of our clients obtain endorsement (letters to prove their leading role and the distinguished event to meet this qualification).

2) Critical reviews or other published material in professional or major trade publication or in the major media by or about the alien which show that the alien has achieved national or international recognition or achievements; These are articles which mention your name that are in national or international publications.

3) Evidence of performance in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations; These are organizations you have worked for in a leading role. You must prove these by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements

4) Evidence of a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales. This category applies mainly to top level talent who can prove the success of their projects.

5) Evidence of significant recognition for achievements form organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field; This is a category which requires strong and detailed letters from experts in your industry.

6) Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others; This can be proved through past or future contracts.


O1A Visa Requirements for Science

The O-1A visa is for people who are recognized as being at the very top of their field and who are coming to the United States to continue work in that field. To establish eligibility for an O-1A visa you must either have received a major, internationally recognized award, similar to a Nobel Prize, or meet at least 3 of the requirements below.

1) Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.

2) Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field.

3) Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary's work in the field for which classification is sought.

4) Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.

5) Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought.

6) A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

7) Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought.

8) Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.

O-2 Visa Requirements for Assistants and Support

O2 Visa is a category for essential support personnel (team members, band members, assistant, group members) who will accompany and assist you with your work as an O1 Visa holder. To qualify for an O-2 Status, you must meet the two following requirements:

1) You must be an "integral part" of the actual performance and have "critical skills and experience" with the O-1 alien which are not of a general nature and which cannot be performed by U.S. workers.

2) The O-2 applicant must show temporary intent to work in the United States, and provide proof of having intent to return to their home country.

O-3 Visa Requirements for Spouses & Children

The O3 visa allows the spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of O-1 and O-2 visa holders to enter into the United States of America and reside with the family. An O3 visa holder can reside in the U.S. with your family. You may also engage in part or full time study in the United States of America. Visit O3 Visa for Family Members for more information.

How to obtain an O-1 Visa

The steps to get an O-1 visa succesfully needs to be well-planned and tailored to meet the requirements. Initially, we'll provide a free consultation where we discuss your background with you, and help provide a strategy to meet the government requirements. Following this consultation, we assist with preparing a strong file on your behalf. We help you build a file which includes:

1) Assistance in collecting all the supporting documentation necessary to meet the government requirements, including providing you with templates to obtain the necessary letters, editing them on your behalf, and collecting the necessary background information required.

2) Working with your sponsor and employers to draft a contract which meets U.S. Government standards for the visa.

3) Drafting a petitioners support letter advocating your background to meet the government requirements.

4) Building a file (generally 200-300 pages) to help you prove you meet the criteria for the visa.

5) Obtaining the required 'Advisory Opinion' from the labor union or peer group in the United States in your field.

6) Filling out and filing all the necessary government forms with the file we have created along with the contracts and support letters. We also keep track of your case and update you immediately after we hear a result.

How long does it take to get an O-1 Visa?

Generally, you should give yourself at least 4-6 weeks to prepare a strong file to the requirements. Once your file is complete, we send to the appropriate labor union for their approval (most reply within two weeks). Once the labor union letter is provided, we send your file to the government.

How much does an O-1 Visa Cost?

Regular Processing: $325, click here for more info. They will provide a response within 4 months.
Premium Processing: The U.S. Government offers a premium processing service for additional $1225, click here for more info. This will provide a response within 15 days. These fees do not include attorney fees, please contact us to inquire about total costs. Once your visa is approved, you will go to the U.S. Consulate in your home country to get a visa stamp, unless you are already in the U.S. and are changing your status. If you are already in the U.S., the next time you leave the country you will have to go to your home country or foreign U.S. consulate and obtain a stamp.

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