The O1A / O1B Visa for Creatives, Artists, and Those With Extraordinary Ability in Business, Science, Education, Athletics – Most Fields

For those with abilities that set them apart, the O1A Visa is available as a non-immigrant visa with residency in the United States for up to three years, and the ability to keep applying for extensions of stay. The main requirement of this visa is that you are somehow distinguished in your field and have enjoyed ‘sustained acclaim’, either by national recognition or a record of extraordinary achievement. For those who qualify, this visa could be used to continue their career in the United States, or participate in an event that is important to their field.

Eligibility Requirements for the O1A Visa

To qualify, you must be one of the top or distinguished contenders in your field for some time. This is made easier by defining your field as narrowly as possible to focus on your own particular way of doing things that stands out from most others in your field. The USCIS requires documentation of your extraordinary ability, which can be in the form of a major international or national award, or by providing at least three forms of evidence that you are widely recognized for your contributions. This evidence can include online or paper articles or publications mentioning your work, past lead roles in distinguished organizations, past critical roles in distinguished organizations, letters from others in your field, past payment above the norm, and any comparable evidence is also accepted.

For individuals who qualify, the USCIS will then require a consultation letter from an association in your field, to support your application. If no appropriate association exists, testimonial letters may be used or the USCIS will consult the prior evidence submitted to determine whether they believe you are distinguished enough to receive the O1 visa. 

This visa will allow you a three-year period of stay, with the ability to apply for extensions. Extensions are granted on the basis that you are continually participating in whichever series of events you applied for or others in your area of exceptional ability. 

Once approved, the spouse and children of O1 visa recipients may also apply for entry to the United States. They are allowed to reside in the United States for the same period as the O1 visa holder, but may not work in the United States during their stay. Children must be under the age of 21 to be considered for an O-3 visa.

If you or a loved one are an exceptional part of your field and are seeking entry to the United States, contact RelisLaw at 1-800-514-4290 to schedule a consultation. We are also available for consultations via Skype, Zoom, and other platforms.

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We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.

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