The O-1 visa is for you, if you have an extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, athletics, or art, or if you have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally/internationally for such achievements.
Here are the types of visa within the O classification:
----- O-1A: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics (not including art, motion picture, or television industry).
----- O-1B: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in art or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.
----- O-2: Individuals who will accompany an O-1 artist or athlete to assist in a specific event or performance. The O-2 worker must have critical skills and experience that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1
----- O-3: Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of O-1’s and O-2’s.
Requirements for O-1 / O-2
To qualify for an O-1 visa:
1, If your extraordinary ability is in the field of science, education, business, or athletics, you must demonstrate your extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim. Your level of expertise must indicate that you are one of the small percentage at the very top of the field.
2. If your extraordinary ability is in the field of art, you must demonstrate your extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim. You must establish your high level of achievement in the field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that you are renowned, leading, or well-known in the field.
3. If you have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent you are recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in motion picture or television industry.
How to apply
1. First, the petitioner has to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with proper Supplements and supporting documents, with USCIS. The petition may not be filed more than 1 year before the actual need for the alien's services. Supporting documents must include:
----- Consultation: A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the alien’s area of ability. This consultation requirement may be waived for an alien with extraordinary ability in the field of art if the alien seeks readmission to perform similar services within 2 years of the date of a previous consultation (the petitioners still has to submit a waiver request and a copy of the previous consultation).
----- Contract between petitioner and alien.
----- Itineraries: An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates, and any itinerary.
----- For O-1A: Documentary evidence of the alien's extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics.
----- For O-1B: Documentary evidence of the alien's extraordinary ability in art or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.
----- For O-2: Documentary evidence establishing that the O-2's assistance is an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity, or it is “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production.
2. Once the I-129 petition is approved, the alien can apply for an O-1/O-2 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.
Dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of O-1/O-2 workers are entitled to O-3 visas/status. O-3 dependents may study, but cannot engage in employment in the U.S.
Period of Stay
The initial period of stay can be up to 3 years. As for extension of stay, USCIS will determine time necessary to accomplish the initial event or activity in increments of up to 1 year.