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O-1 Visa, An Outstanding Opportunity Only for the Outstanding

The O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant employment visa for foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the:

• sciences

• education

• business

• athletics

• the arts

• motion picture or television industries

The O-1 Visa is an outstanding option because:

• There is currently no annual cap on O-Visas. This means that there is no limit as to the number of visas that USCIS can grant.

• They can be obtained quickly. With premium processing, a visa could be granted in 15 calendar days or less.

• O-1 beneficiaries do not have to come alone. O-1 beneficiaries can bring qualifying support staff on an O-2 visa. Spouses and dependents of O-1 and O-2 principals are eligible for O-3 status.

• They can be extended potentially indefinitely. The O-1 petition can be approved for an initial period of up to 3 years. Thereafter, USCIS can continue to grant the visa as long as the petitioner and beneficiary comply with all the O-1 classification requirements. That's right, no limit on number of extensions.

What is needed to file a petition for an O-1 visa?

A petition for O-1 or O-2 classification may be filed only by an employer or an agent who wishes to sponsor a foreign national for employment in the field of extraordinary ability. The employer or agent must provide a job offer or a contract describing the assignment, performance, or event which requires the foreign national's extraordinary ability. The foreign national must provide documentation to demonstrate that he or she has the requisite extraordinary ability.

How can "extraordinary ability" be demonstrated?

Each case is very fact specific and every foreign national will need to prove that he or she is "extraordinary" in his or her field of endeavor. If a foreign national has won an internationally recognized major award such as a Nobel Prize, Emmy or "major league MVP", evidence that he or she was the recipient of that award should suffice.

Most applicants for O-1 classification have not won one major award but can demonstrate through their cumulative achievements that they are "extraordinary." Foreign nationals can demonstrate that their level of achievement rises to the "extraordinary ability" standard through the submission of at least three of the following types of evidence:

• receipt of nationally or internationally recognized awards or prizes in the field of endeavor

• membership in a professional industry association which requires outstanding achievement of its members

• published material about the beneficiary's work or accomplishments in professional or trade publications or major material media

• proof that the beneficiary served as the judge of others in field of specialization

• examples of beneficiary's original scientific, scholarly, or business related contributions

• evidence that beneficiary has had a leadership role in reputable organization related to field of endeavor

• evidence that the beneficiary has received or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services in field of endeavor.

Our experienced and meticulous attorneys can ensure that the O-1 petition reflects all the accomplishments which have made the O-1 beneficiary extraordinary. We will work hard so that the employer can hire the extraordinary talent they need to make their business, event, or project the greatest success possible.

Marilyn Labrada Dume

Marilyn Labrada Dumé

Founder & Managing Partner
Marilyn Dume is the founder and managing partner of the firm. Ms. Dume earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1989. Prior to attending Columbia, Ms. Dume attended University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986. Ms. Dume is admitted to the New Jersey State Bar.

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