U.S. Law Center

O-1 visas harder to get amid increased scrutiny

Foreign nationals who want to live and work in California or other states may be able to do so by applying for the O-1 visa. The O-1 visa is available to those who have an extraordinary musical or other type of talent. Those who have won a major award or are otherwise known for their contributions to the world of science or art typically have little problem having their applications approved.

However, those who haven't won mainstream recognition may have a harder time getting their applications approved. This is partially because the decision to allow a person to obtain such a visa is in the hands of an immigration official. Therefore, it may be necessary for an applicant to spend time documenting why his or her accomplishment was noteworthy. Individuals who are applying for an O-1 visa may also find that recent policy changes may make it harder to obtain one.

The Trump administration has asked that applicants receive greater scrutiny before any decision is made to let them into the country legally. In recent years, the number of visa denials has increased significantly, and individuals who study the issue of immigration say that a lack of diversity could stifle innovation. In the event that a person does receive an O-1 visa, it is good for up to three years.

An individual who is seeking a work visa may want to do so with the help of an attorney. An attorney may be able to explain how to fill out an application or appeal any decision to deny a visa request. Legal assistance may also be helpful for those who are seeking asylum or wish to remain in the United States as a refugee.

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