The O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant temporary work visa granted to foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industries and have received national or international acclaim.
To acquire an O-1 visa, it is necessary to demonstrate outstanding talent in a certain profession. The applicant must demonstrate exceptional accomplishments that are recognized and acknowledged by peers in the profession.
To be eligible for an O-1 visa, you must have a US sponsor or a corporation that you have formed that will represent your interests and is willing to file an I-129 petition with USCIS. The O visa, unlike the H-1B, does not have an annual quota.
The opportunity to eventually qualify for an EB-1, an immigrant visa that provides a road to a Green Card, is a significant benefit of receiving an O-1.
You must meet at least three of the following criteria to prove that you have amazing abilities:
- Evidence of significant international or national prizes received in your field;
- Membership in organizations that demand extraordinary achievements from its members;
- Major media coverage of you; participation as a judge of others in your field; made a significant contribution to your field of science, athletics, business, art, or education; authored scholarly articles or books published in professional or major media; your work has been displayed in artistic exhibitions; played a leadership role in an organization with a distinguished reputation; scientific research that has significantly contributed to the field;
- Commercial success in the performing arts is evidenced.
All of your evidence must be directly related to the program category and specific area of expertise for which you are petitioning. The O-1 visa is initially valid for up to three years, with the option of extending it for another two years if you can demonstrate that you continue to work in the same position or engage in the same activity as when the original visa was issued.