O-1 VISA FOR EXTRAORDINARY TALENT

The O1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa for people who are able to demonstrate an extraordinary ability in science, the arts, education, business, athletics, or film & television.

O-1A Is for people with extraordinary ability in education, business, science or the arts.

O-1B is for individuals who can demonstrate that they have been recognized nationally or internationally in film or television.

O-1 visa holders are also able to apply for integral team members to join them in the United States for a specific event or performance. This person is granted an O-2 visa.

O-1 visa holders are permitted to bring their spouses to the United States on an O-3 visa.

O-1 for Entrepreneurs

While the O-1 is a well-known route for the arts and sciences, it is less well known as a path for entrepreneurs and business owners. In addition to successfully assisting artists and scientists, Davies & Associates has helped entrepreneurs and businessmen move to the United States on an O-1 visa.

We work with our clients to prepare the strongest and most credible case. This includes determining the best documentation to support the assertion that our client is of extraordinary talent. Such documentation includes prizes, publications, membership associations, patents, media coverage, employment history, etc.

Businessmen and entrepreneurs have multiple different options for moving to the United States. Davies & Associates specializes in helping entrepreneurs understand the merits of the different options and works to find the best solution to suit each client’s circumstances.

Besides the O-1 visa, other options for entrepreneurs include:
  • The L-1 Visa - Expand your business to the United States and move there to run that business
  • The E-2 Visa – Purchase or set-up a business in the United States
  • The EB-5 Visa – Invest in a green card for the freedom to conduct business in the United States

What is the O-1 visa?

The O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, suitable for candidates that possess and demonstrate an extraordinary ability in science, the arts, education, business, athletics, or film & television and a variety of other professions. This means that a candidate must have sustained national or international acclaim in their field, or a distinction or record of extraordinary achievement in film and television. An O-1 beneficiary must possess either a major, internationally recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize; or at least 3 of the alternative criteria.

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Who is suitable for the O-1 visa?

There are several types of O-1 visa:

O-1A - For people with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)

O-1B - For people with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

O-2 - For people who will assist O-1 visa candidates with a specific event or performance.

O-3 - For the spouse and children upto 21 years of age of the O-1 candidates

Less commonly known, the O-1 visa is also suitable for entrepreneurs and business owners, providing availability to establish a U.S. company, unlike other types of nonimmigrant (temporary) work visas.

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Why should you apply for the O-1 visa?

The O-1 visa has several advantages, including the fact that there is no wage requirement for applying to the O-1 visa, unlike the H1B visa (although the wage must be appropriate for a candidate of such a high caliber). Similarly, unlike the H1B visa, there exists no “visa lottery” for the O-1 visa, even for private companies. Moreover, while the average processing time for the visa is generally two to three months, premium processing is always available. Premium processing is available to O-1 candidates for a USCIS filing fee of $2500. This means USCIS will adjudicate the petition within 15 days of the day they “receipt” the case in. This is in the form of approval, RFE (Request for Evidence) or (rarely) denial. If USCIS issues an RFE, they have another 15 days from the time we respond to it to render a final decision.

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How long is the O-1 visa applicable for?

The O-1 visa is generally valid for three years, after which an extension can be filed on a yearly basis. If the O-1 beneficiary wishes to change employers, the new employer must file an O-1 petition on his or her behalf. The new employer may request a period of O-1 status of up to three years (rather than just the one-year for extensions). O-1 employers must demonstrate they have enough work to warrant the amount of time they are requesting. Primarily O-1 beneficiaries whose work is in the performing arts, need to provide an itinerary of assignments for the period of O-1 status they are requesting.

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How can Davies & Associates help you?

Davies & Associates has helped foreign nationals in numerous professions including artists, scientists, performers, researchers, entrepreneurs and businessmen (and others) come to the United States on an O-1 visa. We work with our clients to prepare the strongest and most credible cases. This includes working directly with you to prepare a detailed statement supporting your O-1 petition and associated forms, and letters from experts in your field explaining the reasons you qualify for O-1 visa status as well as determining the best documentation to support the assertion that our client is of extraordinary talent. Such documentation includes prizes, publications, membership in prestigious associations, patents, media coverage, employment history, etc.

Davies & Associates specializes in helping entrepreneurs understand the merits of the different options and works to find the best solution, tailor-made, to each client’s circumstances. These options include not only the O-1 visa, but also the L-1 visa, where you can expand your business to the United States and move there to run it, the E-2 visa, for when you want to purchase or set up a business in the United States, and also the EB-5 visa, so you can apply for a green card and have the freedom to conduct your business in the United States.

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What documents do I need?

Along with your passport, visa fee receipt, and the notice of decision by the USCIS, the following is a concise list of all the documents you need to apply for an O-1 visa:

  1. A written consultation from someone with expertise in your field. For example, a peer group, as relevant to your area of expertise (If available in your field).
  2. A copy of the written work contract. The contract must include a summary of the agreement under which you will be employed.
  3. If appropriate in your profession (this primarily pertains to foreign nationals engaged in the arts), a document explaining the activities and events you will participate in. It must include the nature, start and end dates, as well as an itinerary of these activities/events. We will assist you in preparing this if it is necessary to your case
  4. Proof of your extraordinary abilities or achievements. For example, proof you have received an award, published articles relevant to your field, contributed original research to your field, you are a member of a highly distinguished association or organization or have been paid a high salary for your skills and contribution, etc.

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mark is one of the best things happened to me in immigration. I was very skeptical as my last attempt to obtain an L1A was a negative one through another lawyer. Mark came in and… [made] sure that the case [was refiled] successfully. Rest assured, I can vouch for his services and will recommend him highly. Indian L1 Applicant previously denied using another law firm
★★★★★
I have been dealing with this firm for the last several years. They got my E2 visa approved followed by my E2 visa renewal as well. They are the best immigration lawyers I have ever met….. No one can give you better service than this firm. Australian E-2 visa applicant
★★★★★
Several lawyers told me I would not be able to get a TN visa. Two weeks after contacting Davies & Associates I was working in New York, visa in hand. I have recommended this firm to several friends and colleagues, they do an excellent job every time." Individual Seeking 'Impossible' TN Visa
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Davies & Associates provided me with truly outstanding customer service 7 days a week. Technically brilliant, Davies & Associates not only successfully obtained E-2 visa status for myself and my Indian wife but also seamlessly coordinated my entire legal team, ensuring the timely completion of my acquisition." E2 Visa Applicant and Business Owner
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I was qualified as a physician in a foreign country. Being on a J-1 visa I was facing having to leave the United States and return to my home country. Davies & Associates secured one of only 30 J-1 visa waivers available in my State, allowing me to work for a US hospital and remain in the United States." Doctor Seeking J-1 Visa Waiver
★★★★★
My exisiting immigration lawyer, who has a global reputation in immigration law, told me that "it couldn't be done". Someone suggested I speak to Davies & Associates and they obtained the immigration benefits I wanted. I will always use this firm in the future, they are miracle workers." Small Professional Business With International Offices
★★★★★
I am very satisfied with the services Mark Davies has provided me. He has a very extensive knowledge in immigration laws and has a thorough approach to any case." U Visa Applicant, A Victim of Crime
★★★★★
There is no question that Davies & Associates is clearly the leading E-2 visa law firm in the United States." E2 Visa Applicant and Business Owner
★★★★★
Extremely knowledgable, available, and reliable Mark was a god-send when dealing with USCIS. He is very experienced so he knows the ins and outs of the process, can predict response times and is very available to answer questions in a timely and friendly manner. Highly recommended to anyone trying to navigate a complicated immigration process at any stage." Syrian Marriage Based Immigrant Visa Applicant with Two Year J-1 Waiver
★★★★★
I highly recommend Davies & Associates LLC Mark Davies is a joy to work with. His extensive knowledge, speedy response and attentive service took away all my fears of dealing with immigration and visa applications. He is very generous with his time in explaining every step along the way and I have already and will in the future recommend him to anybody who is looking for an immigration lawyer." Small Business Owner and E-2 Visa Applicant