What is the O1 Visa?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines the O1 nonimmigrant visa as follows, “…(it) is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.”
Extraordinary ability is defined as someone with distinction within their field. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts. But no worries, it is achievable! Many Architect-US participants‘ did get it, and you could be the next one! Read here their O1 Visa stories.
Considering the O1 Visa is administered through the USCIS, it will require a lawyer for this process. In comparison to the J1 Visa that is administered through the State Department, and does not require any legal representation. If you’re interested in gathering more info about the J1 Visa please fill out this form with your name and email and we’ll contact you.
10 Steps to preparing your O1 Visa application
1. RESUME: Have a detailed resume ready.
2. TIMELINE: Discuss timeline of each of the preparation steps to follow. Generally – Document gathering and case plan creation by client in consult with attorney 2-4 weeks.
Case preparation by an attorney – variable depending on the case but generally 1-3 weeks
3. SPONSORSHIP: Decide on sponsorship type (employer or agent).
4. RECOMMENDATION LETTERS: Collect a list of at least seven references who can provide recommendation letters commenting on your professional experience and achievements.
5. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS: Prepare supporting documentation (media articles related to professional projects, copies of awards/publications, 3-year itinerary, employment letter(s), portfolio, signed recommendation letters, etc.).
6. ADVISORY OPINION: Obtain advisory opinion from the appropriate consulting entity. Fill out the form below at the end of the post if you want us to help you!
7. FORMS & FEES: Obtain signed immigration forms and filing fees.
8. SUBMISSION: Submit O-1 package (USCIS processing times vary between 1-3 months. For an additional “Premium Processing” fee, USCIS will process the case within 15 calendar days).
9. RFE RESPONSE: Respond to any Request for Further Evidence (“RFE”).
10. CHANGE OF STATUS/VISA: Once approved, change of status (if in the US already, status change occurs upon approval) or consular processing to obtain O1 Visa (in your home country).
If you need further legal advice on the O1 Visa and the application process, please fill out the form below so we can send you more information and next steps. And remember, dream always like Bjarke Ingels, BIG!!! 🙂