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Extraordinary Ability: O Visa

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Experienced Southern California Immigration Lawyer Handling O Visas For Artists And Athletes

Those who have received international acclaim, demonstrating extraordinary ability in the arts, athletics, sciences, education, business or the motion picture or television industry are eligible for entry into the United States under the nonimmigrant O visa program. Others who have received O-1 or O-1A visas include chefs, carpenters and lecturers. The O visa allows an outstanding individual to perform work only in the area of his or her extraordinary ability.

At U.S. Law Center, our attorneys assist organizations and employers throughout the United States in petitions for O visas and other nonimmigrant work visas.

Qualifications For An O Visa For The Artist Or Athlete

A recipient of the Nobel Prize or another prestigious international award would be eligible for an O-1 visa. Extraordinary ability can also be demonstrated by documentation of three of the following qualifications:

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Membership in associations that require outstanding achievement
  • Publication of material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the applicant’s work
  • Participation on a panel or individually, judging the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization
  • Original scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for an organization that has a distinguished reputation
  • The ability to command a high salary

An employer must also provide a financial statement and a description of work the visa holder will perform while in the United States. Our immigration lawyers handle all phases of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing on the petitioner’s behalf, including preparation and filing of the required form I-129 and supporting documentation. A simple error or omission in the required material can result in a significant and costly delay. Our firm is a small, tightly focused employment immigration practice, and our attorneys have extensive and successful experience in this area. If you would like to discuss our services, please contact our Southern California office to arrange a free consultation. We urge you to begin the petition process as soon as possible.

O-2 Visas For Support Personnel Of O-1 Visa Holders

Support personnel of O-1 visa holders in the fields of athletics, movie and television production and other entertainment areas are eligible for entry to the United States under O-2 status. (This status is not available to those in the sciences, business or education.)

O-3 Dependent Visa For The Spouse And Children

The O-1 visa holder’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible for O-3 visas. O-3 status allows an individual to attend school, but not to work.

If you would like to speak with one of our lawyers about the O visa program or have another question about our immigration law practice, please email or call our Riverside County office at to arrange a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available. Our fees are competitive and we accept credit cards. Se habla español.

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The U.S. Law Center is a nationwide, full-service immigration law firm providing large corporations, small businesses and individuals with a full range of immigration processing and placement services.
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