What is an O-1 Visa?

We Help People Obtain O-1 Visas In Dallas and Throughout Texas

An individual with extraordinary abilities or achievements may be eligible to come to the United States through an O visa. At Pollak PLLC, our Dallas O-1 visa attorney is a skilled, experienced immigration law advocate. If you or your loved one is applying for an O visa, we are here to help you navigate the immigration process. To arrange a fully confidential case evaluation with a skilled Texas immigration lawyer, please call our Dallas office at (214) 307-5510 or reach out to us directly through our website.

WHAT IS AN O-1 VISA?

An O-1 visa is a non-immigrant, temporary worker visa granted to aliens with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. The visa is further subdivided into two different categories –– O-1A and O-1B. O-1A refers to aliens with extraordinary abilities in all fields except the arts. O-1B refers to aliens with extraordinary ability in the motion picture or television industry. The O-2 visa is for individuals who will accompany and assist in the artistic or athletic performance of an O-1 alien. There is no quota on the number of O visas issued each year.

O-1 VISA REQUIREMENTS

The USCIS defines “extraordinary ability” in two slightly different ways. For applicants of an O-1A visa, extraordinary ability means expertise. For applicants of an O-1B visa, the extraordinary ability is measured in distinction. So for an alien to obtain an O-1 visa, they must possess a high level of skill in a field, in addition to the recognition that their skills are substantially above others in their industry. 

For an alien to successfully apply for an O-1A visa, they must have received a major, internationally recognized award in addition to three other elite criteria including (but not limited to):

  • Membership in associations for which classification is sought requires outstanding achievement.
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers, or other major media.
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance.
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals.
  • A high salary.

On the other hand, to obtain an O-1B visa, the applicant must prove that they received or been nominated for international awards or prizes in their field in addition to three different criteria such as:

  • Starring in productions that have a distinguished reputation.
  • Achieving national or international recognition for achievements.
  • Performed or will perform a starring role for organizations with distinguished reputations.
  • Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success.
  • Significant recognition for achievements from organizations in their field.
  • A high salary.

In general, it is considered more difficult to obtain an O-1A visa than an O-1B visa.

O-1 VISA APPLICATION PROCESS 

The application process for the O visa includes the sponsor and/or applicant filing a petition with the USCIS. That petition is form I-129, and it should be filed 45 days before the date of employment. In addition, applicants should include consultation from a peer group or person with expertise in the applicant’s field. The application waiting period will fluctuate, but, in general, it is several months. The USCIS offers an option for premium processing. For a $1,225 fee, the USCIS will process the petition in 15 days. As the O visa application process is complex and detail-intensive, you can benefit from seeking professional guidance and support. An experienced immigration attorney will ensure that your O-1A or O-1B visa application is completed properly. 

O VISAS ARE TYPICALLY GRANTED FOR THREE YEARS 

As a general rule, all types of O visas (O-1A, O-1B, O-3) are granted for an initial period of three years. After the three-year period has expired, an O visa can be renewed an indefinite amount of times—at least assuming the applicant still satisfies the eligibility requirements. Notably, O visa renewals are typically granted for one year at a time. Though, in certain circumstances, such as a change in employer, a three-year extension may be possible. 

O-1 VISA SPONSOR REQUIREMENTS

In the event that no appropriate peer group or labor organization exists that can produce adequate consultation for an O-1 petition, the USCIS will base their decision on evidence of record. Other sponsorship stipulations include a copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the applicant. The USCIS will also accept an oral contract between the two as sufficient evidence. Agents may also act as both representatives and employers of the applicant in certain situations.

O-3 VISA: SPOUSE AND DEPENDENT CHILDREN OF AN O-1 VISA HOLDER

An O-3 visa is a type of family visa that can allow an O-1 visa holder to bring their spouse and younger children with them to the United States. As a general rule, a person can apply for an O-3 visa if they are the spouse of an O-1A or O-1B visa or if they are the unmarried child of an O-1A or O-1B visa. Though, only children under the age of 21 can apply for an O-3 visa. If you have any specific questions or concerns about O-3 visas, our Dallas, TX immigration lawyer can help. 

HOW OUR TEXAS IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY CAN HELP 

The O-1 visa application process is notoriously complex. Our managing attorney Karen-Lee Pollak and experienced immigration support teamwork with the sponsor and/or applicant to submit the most complete and thorough petition, which emphasizes the applicant’s education, qualifications, and experience. When you get in touch with our Dallas law office, you will have a chance to consult with a Texas O visa lawyer who is prepared to: 

  • Answer your questions and explain the O-1 visa process; 
  • Gather documents and records and handle the immigration paperwork; and
  • Take all necessary steps to ensure that your visa application is handled properly. 

In addition, the immigration law team at Pollak PLLC knows the processes and procedures to work with various government agencies to ensure the best possible outcome. We focused on helping our clients find solutions that work. You deserve personal attention and our Dallas, TX O-1 visa lawyer will put time and resources into your case. 

CALL OUR DALLAS, TX O-1 VISA LAWYER FOR IMMEDIATE HELP

At Pollak PLLC, our Dallas immigration lawyer has extensive experience assisting clients with O visa applications. If you are applying for an O-1 visa and you need legal guidance, we can help. Call us at (214) 307-5510 or contact us online to discuss your immigration options during a strictly private consultation. With an office in Dallas, we provide immigration law services throughout North Texas, including in Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Plano, Frisco, and Irving.

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