O-1 Visa » Temporary Immigration to the US for Individuals Who Possess an Extraordinary Ability

Watch this video to learn which of 5 visas in the O-Visa Category that you'll need to work temporarily in the US.

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If you are fortunate enough to have been born with exceptional talent in the arts, science, education, business, or athletic sectors, consider applying for the O-1A visa.

Are you a person who is exceptionally talented and successful in the film and television industry? Obtaining an O-1B visa will permit you to work in the United States.

If your assistant must accompany you to the US, the O-2 visa will allow this. If you would like to have your family with you while working in the US, consider the O-3 visa.

Would you like to review all the temporary work visas to the US instead?

Who Qualifies or is Eligible for the O-1 Visa Program? 

The O-1 Visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa program for individuals or family members and business owners who possess extraordinary ability. Within the O-1 visa category, applicants can apply for the O-1A, O-1B, O-2, or the O-3.

To be eligible for the O-1 Visa, applicants must possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.

What is the O-1 Visa Program? 

The O-1 Visa is the overarching program and within the O-1, applicants may apply for the O-1A, O-1B, O-2, or O-3.

O-1 Visa Categories  

As noted above, O-1 is the visa program name and within this program, you may qualify for one of the following visas:

O-1A is for people who have extraordinary abilities or skills in science, education, business or athletics.

O-1B is for people who have extraordinary abilities or skills in the arts or for people who have attained great success and extraordinary achievements in the film and television industries.

O-2 is for people who manage, assist and accompany an O-1 visa holder, for example, an athletic coach who must accompany an athlete to a sports competition. O-2 is not available to family members.

O-3 is for the spouse, child, or children of an O-1A, O-1B, or O-2 visa holder. O-3 is not available for individuals or businesses.

What is the Difference Between an O-1 and an O-1A and an O-1B? 

The O-1 is the main program name and within the O-1 program, an individual can apply for an O-1A or an O-1B.

O-1A Visa - For individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. The O-1A is not for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, motion pictures or television industry. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity.

O-1B Visa - For individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production.

What are the O-2 and O-3 Visa Categories? 

The O-2 Visa (also known as O-2 Petitions: Personnel Accompanying O-1B Artists)  - For supporting personnel of O1 Visa Holders. These are individuals who will accompany an O-1 - an artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1.

The O-3 Visa (also known as O-3 Visas For The Family of O-1 and O-2 Work Visa Holders) - For Dependents of O1 and O2 Visa Holders - For family members who are a spouse or a child or children of O-1’s and O-2’s.

What is the Processing Time for all Categories of the O-1 Visa Program? 

Processing times for US visas vary depending on several factors:

  • The office or service center responsible for processing the file
  • The type of non-immigrant visa
  • O-1 visa interview wait times (if applicable)
  • Whether the applicant can qualify for an expedited interview appointment
  • Whether Expedited processing is available
  • Whether Premium Processing is available
  • Providing insufficient or incomplete documents can lead to delays in processing and even denials

Top 10 Reasons for Refusal of All Categories of the O-1 Visa Application 

While there are many reasons why your O-1 visa application could be refused, we have listed the top ten most common ones here:

  1. Current and or past immigration status and history for the US or abroad, including overstaying and unauthorized employment
  2. Insufficient funds to support themselves during their stay
  3. Incorrect or incomplete petition
  4. Insufficient supporting evidence
  5. Conflicts with travel documentation
  6. Health concerns
  7. Suspicious of malicious intent
  8. Problems with background check
  9. Criminal history/Being convicted of a crime/Suspected or known ties to terrorism
  10. Material Misrepresentation

The O-1 Visa Program FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can you work on an O-1 visa? 

Yes, the O-1 visa is for employment in the US, but O-1 visa holders must only work for the company or organization that is the O-1 visa sponsor.

Is it difficult to obtain an O-1 visa?

O-1 visa applications are assessed on a case by case basis and there is no cap on the number that can be given. Yes, the O-1 visas are difficult to obtain as there are many requirements the applicant must meet.

Why Contact My Visa Source for an Assessment? 

Congratulations on taking your first step toward temporarily working in the United States.

The more research you do on the immigration process, the more you will learn about your specific situation and how we can help you navigate through the O-1 visa process.

Lawyers at My Visa Source dedicate themselves to your immigration case, providing legal representation tailored to your personal situation.

Our expertise focuses on immigration and visa programs for the United States and Canada, including global immigration.

Partnering with an award-winning immigration team greatly increases the likelihood of achieving your specific immigration or visa goals.

Begin Your Application for the O-1 Visa Today! 

Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987.

We have a dedicated team of licensed professionals standing by, ready to answer your immigration and visa questions.

Immigration is a complex process that requires strong legal strategy, precise paperwork and perfect attention to detail, reducing the risk of wasted time, money or permanent rejection.

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