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Extraordinary Ability or Achievement Visas

O–1 Visas

The O–1 visa is designed for those professionals who have reached the top of their field and wish to temporarily work in the United States. The U.S. has always welcomed the world's most talented people to work and live within its borders. The government has set forth three sets of criteria to determine if you have extraordinary ability in your field of endeavor. Regardless of which of the below categories you seek to be classified, you must should you have sustained national or internationally acclaim in your field.

1. Extraordinary Ability for professionals in the field of science, education, business or athletics – O-1A:

Those persons seeking to fit into this category must demonstrate that they are one of a very small percentage of those in the field who have risen to the very top of their field.

Examples of professions that fit into this category are scientists, engineers, professors, educators, business professionals, soccer, swim, basketball, rugby, lacrosse coaches or athletes, doctors, physicians, surgeons, specialized mechanics, researchers, clinicians, etc.

Professionals seeking to be classified as O-1A must either demonstrate they have won a one-time achievement such as an Nobel prize, Pulitzer prize, etc. Otherwise, you must demonstrate that you have met at least three of the following criteria:

  • 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

2. Extraordinary Ability for Artists – O-1B:

Artists who fit into this category must demonstrate that have reached a level of distinction which means a high level of achievement in the field of arts. The level of achievement must be evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. Person should be described as prominent, renowned, or leading.

Examples of professions that fit into the O-1B category in the field of Arts include dancers, choreographers, culinary arts professionals, sushi chefs, musicians, singers, make-up artists, coaches, stage and set designers, fine artists, visual artists, costume designers, stage technicians, choreologists, etc.

Professionals seeking to be classified as O-1B artists must demonstrate they have a one-time achievement award such as a Grammy or otherwise demonstrate that the artist has met at least three of the following criteria:

  • 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

3. Artists or Extraordinary Achievement in the motion picture or television industry – O-1B:

If you believe you qualify for an O-1B visa in the field of motion pictures or television industry, you must demonstrate extraordinary achievement which is evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered in your field of endeavor. You should be recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture or television field.

Examples of professionals who fit into this category include actors, actresses, stage performers, etc.

Professionals seeking to be classified as O-1B artists in the field of motion pictures or television must demonstrate they have a one-time achievement award such as an Emmy, Oscar, etc., or otherwise demonstrate that the artist has met at least three of the following criteria:

  • 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.

Our office will work with you to determine if you have sufficient evidence to submit a strong O-1A or O-1B petition.

 

Caterina Ranieri Grasso, Esq. | Call (315) 410-0119

Caterina Ranieri Grasso
Of Counsel
Bousquet Holstein PLLC

110 West Fayette Street
One Lincoln Center, Suite 1000
Syracuse, New York 13202
Phone: (315) 701-6462





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