An O visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa that allows those with universally recognized or extraordinary skill or notoriety in a particular field to temporarily enter the United States. Not all O visa holders work in the sciences; rather, those with proven skill in art, business, education, science, athletics, and television or film may qualify for an O visa.
Types Of O Visas
O-1 visas are the primary type and are intended for the person entering the United States, while other O visas are issued to family and those traveling with the foreign national.
The O-1 visa is the most common type of O visa issued; it is the visa that the foreign national with extraordinary skill receives to enter the United States. O-1s are broken into two categories: O-1A and O-1B visas. O-1B visas are intended only for workers in film and television (and the arts, which requires additional proof), while O-1As cover the other skilled categories like science, education, business, and athletics.
In addition to O-1 visas, O-2 visas are often issued in order to ensure that the O-1 applicant can travel. O-2 visas are intended for those who accompany the skilled worker; either the O-2 possesses skills or knowledge that the O-1 skilled worker must have or the O-1 would be incapable of performing their job without the O-2.
Finally, a smaller category of O-3s exists. Spouses and children of both O-1 and O-2 visa holders may qualify for an O-3 to travel with their family to the United States for a temporary stay.
O Visa General Requirements
Requirements vary slightly between the types of O visas, but in general, for both O-1 visas, the applicant must be able to prove excellence in the field. For O-1As, they should be at the top of their field and be considered notable individuals in their home country. O-1Bs must demonstrate distinction in media; this success can be proven financially, critically, or both. Both O-1 categories must also be ready to provide a written consultation—in other words, a written recommendation from a relevant peer group or labor organization.
The petition also requires that the applicant provide proof of a contract between the applicant and an employer, as well as further details such as itinerary and agents working with the applicant. Once the application is filed and approved, an O visa holder is permitted to enter the US 10 days before the start of work, but no work can be conducted during this time.
Speak To An Experienced Immigration Attorney
Compiling a comprehensive O visa petition is critical to the success and uninterrupted work flow of skilled and highly notable figures. That is why it is important to work with an experienced immigration lawyer to file an O visa petition to ensure the highest chances of success.
Reach out to The Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge to begin the process of acquiring an O visa or filing an extension to complete the exceptional work you are doing in the United States by calling 703.273.5500 or by requesting a consultation online.