Area of Law: USA Travel and Immigration
Answer # 1045
Extraordinary Skills O-1 VisaRegion: Ontario Answer # 1045
The O-1 visa allows individuals with extraordinary ability in their field to work for a USA employer for a temporary period of 1-3 years. Individuals may qualify for the O-1 visa if they have sustained national or international acclaim and have been recognized for their extraordinary achievements.
The O-1A category applies to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in certain fields, such as education, science, business or athletics. Extraordinary ability under this category is demonstrated by proving that the individual is within in the small percentage of people who have risen to the very top of the field. Specifically, the criteria include proving that the applicant has received a major internally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize or has at least three of the following qualifications: national or international awards; membership in associations requiring outstanding achievements; published material about the applicant; original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance; authorship of publications in professional journals or major media; high salary; history as a judge of the work of others; employment in a critical or essential capacity for distinguished organizations.
The O-1B category applies to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in certain fields, such as arts or motion picture. Extraordinary ability under this category is demonstrated through distinction, or proving that the individual is prominent, leading, well-known and has a degree of recognition that is substantially above others in the field. Specifically, the criteria includes proving that the applicant has received or been nominated for a national or international award such as an Academy Award, Emmy or Grammy or at least three of the following qualifications: performed / will perform a lead or starring role in productions with distinguished reputation, which can be documented through critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements; national or international recognition for achievements, which can be documented by critical reviews or other published materials in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications; performed / will perform in major role (i.e. lead, starring, or critical) for distinguished organizations and establishments, which can be demonstrated by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials; major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, which can be documented by title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, movie or tv ratings, reports of achievements in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications; receipt of significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts, as documented in testimonials; high salary.
A consultation or a written advisory opinion from the appropriate peer group must also be submitted with the O-1 petition, though certain exceptions apply. The opinion can be provided by a labor organization or a person with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability. The consultation should be official and USCIS may ask for the original version.
For individuals who are traditionally self-employed, it may be possible to have a USA agent who can file on behalf of multiple employers or as an employer. In such scenarios, certain documentation is required, such as contracts, authorization to act as an agent and a detailed itinerary.
Support staff may be permitted to accompany the main O-1 applicant if they are essential, with critical skills and experience that the main applicant requires.
The application must be submitted to USCIS. It is generally approved for an initial temporary period of up to three years, based on the duration of the activities in the USA Canadian citizens can enter the US with their USCIS approval notice. However, applicants from countries requiring a visa will be required to apply for the O-1 visa at a consulate abroad.
Spouse and children may accompany the O-1 applicant. While they cannot work in the USA, they may be able to study.
A criminal record will prevent you from entering the USA or obtaining your USA immigration status. To erase your Canadian criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.
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