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O Visas


O-1 Visa

The O-1 Visa is for outstanding individuals. The visa temporarily enables people with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion picture, or television industry to enter the U.S. The spectrum of eligible individuals in this loosely-defined category includes chefs, carpenters, and lecturers.

The O-1 Visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 may join you in the U.S. under O-3 status, but they may not work. However, they may attend school or college.

Our Employment Immigration lawyer at Dana Michael Ritter can provide valuable assistance throughout the O-1 visa process. We can help determine eligibility, gather and organize the required documentation, prepare a strong petition, and navigate any potential challenges or issues that may arise. Additionally, we can provide guidance on maintaining visa status, extensions, and any potential pathways to permanent residency.

The O-1 Visa 

To be considered an outstanding individual, you should be highly regarded in your field and can only work in the U.S. in that area of expertise.

You may be required to provide a portion of the following documentation:

  • An employment contract.
  • The petition must include a printed article or statement from a person or group proficient in your field. This person/group should support your status as a respected member of your field.
  • Documentation that shows you have received a significant award, such as a Nobel Prize.
  • Documentation that shows you are a member of one of the leading associations in your field.
  • Documentation that shows you have done original research in your field.
  • Published articles in major trade publications or other media by or about your accomplishments in your field.
  • “A high salary or other service remuneration” (USCIS).
  • Documentation that shows you have been invited to judge a competition or participate in a panel discussion.
  • “Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments with a distinguished reputation” (USCIS).

The O-1 visa can be granted for an initial period of up to three years. Extensions of stay are possible, and there is no maximum limit on the total duration of stay for O-1 visa holders.

O-2 Visa

O-2 visas are offered to support personnel of O-1 Visa holders in the fields of athletics, entertainment, and motion picture and television production. This status is not applicable to personnel in the sciences, business, or education.

The O-2 Visa must be petitioned by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are permitted to accompany you to the U.S. under O-3 status. Your dependents must prove immediate relation to you, and will not be allowed to work.

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