We’ve created this post for those of you who’d like to learn more about the O-1B Visa and the process that it entails. Application for every visa -however similar it is- varies in a few of the steps and what is required from the Host Company. The other aspect of this Visa is the difficulty that it is to obtain. This non-immigrant visa is for any individual which possesses extraordinary ability in arts (architecture) or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. So in other words, you have to be extremely talented and you have to be able to demonstrate it! You must build the case with evidences that set you apart from the crowd with awards or professional experience in the leading companies in the US.
To apply for the O1-B Visa you must file the form I-129 (petition for non-immigrant worker) with the USCIS office (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). It is recommended that the form is filed at least 45 days before you need to begin working in the States, as there may be delays in processing. However, you cannot file this form with more than one year before you actually intend to go work in the States. You must also include a written advisory opinion/review from a company or organization which proves your expertise in the field. This document should have clear distinctive features such as logos, watermarks, or emblems that prove it’s authenticity. If the document does not include them you will have processing delays and you will be asked to submit an original document that is appropriate and legible.
Another aspect of the O1-B Visa is that you must get high commitment from the Company. The Company has to sponsor you covering all related expenses (visa, lawyer fees, health insurance,..), acquiring a 3 years commitment with the employee and having to pay you a high salary to justify their hire instead of hiring a local one. All these aspects makes American companies have a harder time to sponsoring internationals. So, for this case, you must be able to provide the contract that is being offered by the American company, and that includes all terms offered by the employer. With the O1-B Visa there is no limit on the length of your stay in the U.S. You are allowed to stay for an unlimited period with of time with one-year extensions with the contingency that you continue in the same position for which your O1 visa was granted. If for any case your employment is terminated, the employer has to make sure that you return to your place of residency outside the US.
These are the most important details pertaining the O1-B Visa and hopefully with this information you have a good understanding of how this visa works and what you must do to obtain it. If you want to learn more about this visa you can always visit USCIS website for more detailed information. You can also read other blog posts we have on this matter; such as the differences in the HI-1 and the O1-B visas here.