Visa and Greencards > Employment > O-1
O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa
O-1 visas are available for applicants with extraordinary ability who have reached the top of their fields. O-1 visas are extremely versatile and are available for professionals in the arts, sciences, business, education, sports, as well as other fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an O-1 visa?
O-1 visas are non-immigrant visas for individuals who are extraordinary in their field, including the arts, science, business, education or sports.
Who can apply for an O-1 visa?
O-1 visas are meant for individuals who are accomplished in the arts, sciences, business, education field or sports.
O-1A visas can be excellent visas for entrepreneurs, business owners and specialists, engineers, scientists, researchers, or specialists in a variety of fields.
O-1B visas are geared for extraordinary individuals in the arts. This includes musicians, film directors, producers, actors and actresses, artists, dancers, writers, journalists, chefs, models, and a variety of other individuals in the arts.
To discuss whether you and your field of expertise would qualify for an O-1 visa, please click here to schedule a consultation with Adomat Immigration.
How long are O-1 visas valid for?
An initial O-1 visa is valid for up to three years. However, O-1 visas may be extended for additional three-year periods.
Can I work with an O-1 visa?
Yes! With an O-1 visa, you can work for one employer or multiple employers on a project-basis.
What are the benefits of an O-1 visa?
O-1 visas offer several unique benefits compared with more traditional work visas.
O-1 visa holders have authorization to work with multiple employers and not a single sponsor. This means that O-1 visa holders can complete freelance, project-based work or be self-employed.
It is also possible to extend O-1 visas indefinitely. Unlike other work visas, there is no maximum time period that a foreign national can be in O-1 status.
O-1 visas also are a direct path to permanent residency. O-1 visas are dual intent, which means that you can be pursuing a green card simultaneously. In addition, the O-1 visa criteria are very similar to the EB-1A green card criteria for aliens of extraordinary ability. Because of this, many O-1 visa holders are able to easily pursue a green card after obtaining their O-1 visa.
Who can serve as the petitioner for an O-1 visa?
An O-1 petitioner can be any US-based company, US citizen or US green card holder.
How can I apply for an O-1 visa?
To apply for an O-1 visa, you must submit an I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. As part of this petition, you must prepare a detailed legal memorandum discussing your qualifications as an alien of extraordinary ability and evidence of your achievements in the field.
How many O-1 visas are issued per year?
There is no quota for O-1 visas. USCIS is able to approve an unlimited amount of O-1 visas.
How much do O-1 visas cost?
The current USCIS filing fee for O-1 visas are $460. However, as of October 2, 2020, USCIS filing fees will increase to $705.
The legal fees for an O-1 visa depend on the specifics of your case. For an evaluation of your case and fee quote, please click here to schedule a consultation with Adomat Immigration.
How can I extend my O-1 visa?
To extend your O-1 visa, you must submit a new O-1 petition, requesting an extension of your stay. This petition must include new evidence of your upcoming work plans in the US as well as evidence regarding your continued qualification as an O-1 alien of extraordinary ability.
Are O-1 visas dual intent?
Yes! O-1 visas are dual intent. This means that O-1 visa holders may apply for permanent residency while in the United States without this being a violation of immigration laws.
Many O-1 visa holders go on to apply for an EB-1A Extraordinary Ability green card, which is a self-sponsored green card available to aliens who have reached the top of their fields.
Can I get a green card after applying for an O-1 visa?
Yes! Because O-1 visas are dual intent, O-1 visa holders may apply for permanent residency while in the United States without this being a violation of immigration laws.
If you have an O-1 visa and are looking to apply for a green card, Adomat Immigration recommends considering either an EB-1A Extraordinary Ability, EB-1B Outstanding Researcher or EB-2 National Interest Waiver petition.
What is the difference between an O-1 visa and EB-1 green card?
O-1 visas and EB-1A green cards have similar criteria. However, EB-1A green card applications require additional evidence and have a higher standard of proof than O-1 visas.
Many O-1 visa applicants are excellent candidates for EB-1A Extraordinary Ability green cards, but it is best to speak with an immigration attorney regarding your specific case. To schedule a consultation with Adomat Immigration, please click here.
What is the O-1 visa approval rate?
O-1 visas have one of the highest approval rates of all US work visas. In the past years, O-1 visas have had the following initial approval rales: 89% in 2020, 90.8% in 2019, 92.8% in 2017, 94.1% in 2017, 92.9% in 2016 and 92% in 2015.