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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.

O-1 Visa, Extraordinary Ability in Athletics, Business, Education & Sciences

This is the non-immigrant visa category for the truly gifted, the world's best, geniuses, superstars and the like in athletics, business, education & sciences. Won; the Nobel Prize, World Cup, The Masters, a Westinghouse? Then, this is your ticket into the US. America loves winners. Or just be the tops in your field with the highest level of expertise in an approved area with adequate documentation. Evidence of this highest level of expertise can be in the form of, any three of:

  • Receipt of national or internationally recognized awards,
  • Membership in associations of like minded and accomplished individuals,
  • Citations in professional publications,
  • Acting as a judge of your peers,
  • Author of scholarly articles in trade journals,
  • Prior employment in similar positions,
  • Prior extraordinarily high salaries for services rendered.

Then you just need an employer, and a job offer letter outlining job functions, dates and locations, which should be easy to secure.

While this visa is on a temporary basis, initially up to three years it can be renewed year by year without extension limitation.

The application can be filed 6 months before the employee is needed and generally takes about 4 months to process. This processing time can be accelerated by filing Premium Processing with the designated additional fee.

Submission Process

The application process requires that the employer file USCIS Form I-129, a written Advisory Opinion from a peer group with expertise in the employee's area of ability, a written employment contract, with all other accompanying documentation and pay all required filing fees. In addition to the normal fees, possibly a Premium Processing fee will be owed.

Return Transportation

The employer must pay for the return transportation of the employee (not its spouse & children) if the employment was terminated early by other than voluntary employee termination.

Family Members of O-1 Visa Holders

Family members can also accompany on separately filed USCIS Form I-129 with similar documentation upon paying all required filing fees.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 can also obtain entry under O-3 visas. They cannot work but can attend school or college.

We have processed these petitions and are available to assist you in preparing your applications. Remember, "with immigration, nothing is as simple as it first appears"â„ .

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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Charleston USA Immigration Law Center, LLP - Immigration Lawyer in Charleston, SC
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