How can I obtain a visa for extraordinary ability or talent in a specific field?

work visa immigration employment

Many people migrate to the United States for better employment opportunities than what’s available in their home country. Fortunately, the United States offers an array of temporary and permanent employment-based visas. If you are an individual who possesses extraordinary ability or achievement in a particular field, you may be able to obtain a work visa under the O nonimmigrant classification. However, you must be able to meet the strict eligibility criteria. To determine whether you meet the qualifications to obtain this employment-based visa, it is in your best interest to consult with an adept Essex County Employment Immigration Attorney who can help you navigate your legal options. 

What is an O-1 visa?

The O-1 visa is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or those who have demonstrated a record of remarkable nationally or internationally recognized achievements in the motion picture or television industry. The O nonimmigrant visa categories are broken down as follows:

  • O-1A: Individuals who possess exceptional abilities in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.
  • O-1B: Individuals who possess exceptional talent in the arts or achievements in the motion picture or television industry.
  • O-2: Individuals assisting O-1 artists or athletes in a specific event or performance.
  • O-3: Individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.

What are the eligibility requirements?

When applying for an employment-based visa, meeting specific eligibility requirements is necessary. Criteria for O-1A nonimmigrant visas are determined similarly to EB-1 visas. Individuals must either demonstrate that they have achieved a nationally or internationally recognized award such as a Nobel prize or Olympic medal or satisfy at least three of the following requirements:

  • Received national or international recognition for a price or award for excellence in their field.
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field- published in professional or major trade publications or other major media.
  • Original contribution of major significance in the field.
  • Serving in an essential capacity for organizations that have a distinguished reputation.
  • Possessing employment in the field with a high salary for your services.
  • Participation either individually or in a panel as a judge of the work of others in the field.
  • Membership in prestigious organizations requires outstanding achievements recognized and judged by other experts in the field.

What is the eligibility criteria for an O-1 B visa?

There are different sets of standards that individuals must meet to qualify for an O-1B visa. Similar to O-1A visa requirements, individuals can demonstrate their extraordinary talent with a significant achievement such as an Academy Award or Emmy or satisfy at least three of the following:

  • Performed services as a lead in a production or event with a distinguished reputation as evidenced by reviews, publications, contracts, endorsements, and advertisements.
  • Performed in a lead role for organizations with distinguished reputations evidenced by trade journals, publications, or articles in major media.
  • Achieved national or international achievements shown in published material or critical reviews.
  • Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations or recognized experts in the field.
  • Received a high salary for services concerning the field.

If you believe you possess extraordinary ability or talent in a specific field, contact a trusted attorney from the Law Offices of Christopher T. Howell, Esq. today. Our firm can help you determine whether you meet the eligibility criteria to obtain an O-1 nonimmigrant visa to work in the U.S.