Individuals of exceptional ability who have achieved heights in science, business, education, sports, or the arts can obtain O-1 nonimmigrant work status.
The US O-1 Work Visa is usually granted to workers in show business and other industries where a college degree is not required. The requirements for O-1 status are serious and the application process is complex. But unlike the H-1B status, the O-1 status does not require a university diploma. Therefore, it can serve as an alternative to leading specialists in various fields of creative activity who, due to the lack of higher education or work in a field that does not require a diploma, cannot receive the working status of H-1B (chefs, sculptors, artists, etc.).
Likewise, people of exceptional ability with a college degree may apply for H-1B status instead of O-1 status if that is more appropriate for them. It is easier to obtain H-1B status on the basis of a diploma than to qualify for O-1 status.
Businessmen may be more suited to L-1 or E status than O-1 status. You may also be eligible to use guest status if you do not work and receive wages in the United States accordingly.
Note that people with exceptional or extraordinary abilities can directly apply for a residence permit, bypassing nonimmigrant status. These applications are quicker and easier to process than applications for O-1 nonimmigrant status.
US Work Visa O-1. Advantages:
You can enter the United States and get a job that requires people of outstanding ability without having a college degree;
You do not have to have a permanent residence in your country and show an intention to return to your homeland;
your family members can stay with you as long as you maintain your O-1 status. They can also attend school;
You can travel freely within and outside the United States while your O-1 visa is valid.
US Work Visa O-1. Requirements and Documents
You cannot apply for an O-1 visa on your own behalf, the American company in which you will work must apply for you.
Employee Criteria for the O-1 Visa
Scientists, educators or businessmen must have exceptional abilities in order to obtain O-1 status, i.e. to achieve the highest level of professionalism and recognition, which make them the best of the best in this field of activity.
To prove that you belong to this small percentage of the best of the best, you must have some prestigious award in your field as a sign of national or international recognition (for example, the Nobel Prize), or you must fulfill three of the following conditions:
have a national or internationally recognized prize or award;
be a member of an association that requires outstanding achievement;
have published material (or published through other media) about you and your work;
have your material published in periodicals (or made public through other media);
participate in the assessment of the work of other specialists in your field of activity;
make a large and unique contribution to the development of science, education or business;
work in high positions in large organizations;
receive very high salaries or other types of remuneration.
Documents for registration.
In order to sponsor an O-1 visa, an American employer must file Form I-129 – Work Visa Application with the Immigration Service, with Form I-129O / P – Supplement, and supporting documentation. Once the USCIS approves the O-1 visa application, you can apply for the O-1 visa at the US Consulate abroad.
An O-1 petition is filed on USCIS Form I-129, along with I-129 O / P – Petition Supplement.
Your O-1 visa application must include:
written consultation with a peer group in your area;
a copy of any written contract between you and your employer, or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be hired;
copies of the certificate of service, which will also be performed;
evidence that you have received a major internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or copies showing at least three of the following: If you are outside the United States, USCIS will notify the consulate closest to your permanent residence. You must obtain approval from the US Consulate to obtain an O-1 Visa. If you are already in the United States, you can start working for your entrepreneur as soon as you receive approval to change or renew your status.
Obtaining an O-1 Visa at the American Consulate
To apply for an O-1 visa, you must provide an original or a copy of a Form I-797A or B Work Permit (permit sent to your employer when the petition is approved).
Your visa application must include the following documents:
Form DS-160 – Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa;
copy of the passport, which is valid
en for at least six months outside the period of stay in the United States and with at least one blank page;
two identical color photographs on a light background showing the entire face without head covering. You can wear a headdress if required by the religious community of which you are a member;
other documents included in the O-1 petition
US Work Visa O-1. Duration of stay
There is no limit to the length of your stay in the United States. You can stay for an unlimited period with extensions of up to a year, as long as you continue to work in the same profession or activity for which you were granted an O-1 visa.
If you end up working with your employer, you will immediately lose O-1 status and if the employer fires you before the date permitted by USCIS, the employer is responsible for transporting you to your last place of residence outside the United States.
Visa for family members of the O-2 visa holder
A spouse and / or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany you to the United States during your stay can apply for an O-3 visa.