Who Gets It?
O-1A/B visas are granted to individuals who can demonstrate that they possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through significant recognition from professionals in the field and through acclaimed achievements. If you received a highly respected award, such as an Emmy, Grammy, or the like, then you typically automatically qualify.
What the USCIS Wants to See?
The USCIS requires documentation and a written explanation that the individual has received significant recognition from experts in the field and has enough outside evidence to demonstrate it. The following is a list of some of the requirements for approval.
- Submissions must establish that the visa seeker meets at least three of the following regulatory criteria for an O-1A:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
- Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field
- Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
- A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
What the USCIS Does Not Want to See?
- Submissions must establish that the visa seeker meets at least three of the following regulatory criteria for an O-1B:
- Performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements
- Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications
- Performed and will perform in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.
- A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
- Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the beneficiary is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author's authority, expertise and knowledge of the beneficiary's achievements
- A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence
The USCIS will call into question an O-1A/B based on a number of factors. These are the issues that have been raised in the past. Be aware that the USCIS can take issue with just about anything, so this list is nowhere near complete.
- Evidence that visa seeker has not been recognized by experts, media, and related professionals as an extraordinary member of their field.
- Evidence that the visa seeker has not done significant work outside of their formal education (college, high school, etc.)
Remember that each case is unique. To find out whether you qualify for this visa, please contact us directly and set up an appointment.