Часто задаваемые вопросы о визе O-1: статус, смена визы, способы обращения, подача документов в США.

Ребята, на сей раз вопросы и ответы в отношении визы O-1, я набрасал на бумаге, и если честно мне хотелось найти профессиональный – юридический ответ ко многим вопросам, в результате чего, порывшись на сайтах иммиграционных юридических контор, я нашел достаточно грамотное объяснение или толковании терминологии и вопросов, касающиеся визы O-1!

В публикации ниже можно найти ответы на свои вопросы, как новчику в штатах, только прилетевшему и ищущему вариант смены визы, так и бальнику, который только впервые задумался в отношении работы в Америке и жаждет найти ответы на вопросы, не дающие покоя! Давайте разберемся…

Q: What is O-1 status?

A: O-1 Status is a non-immigrant status category for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts (including the television and motion picture industry), education, business, or athletics. This is an employment related status that allows qualified aliens to live and work in the United States.

Q: What is difference between O-1 and EB-1(a)?

A: O-1 is a non-immigrant visa or status. An EB-1(a) is an immigration petition under EB-1 category. The requirements for O-1 Status are very similar to those for the EB-1(A) (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) employment based permanent residence category. The difference is of course that the O-1 standards apply to those seeking a non-immigrant status, while the EB-1(A) standard is for those seeking permanent immigrant status. For more information on EB-1, please click here.

Q: As an employment related non-immigrant status, what is the difference between O-1 and other employment related non-immigrant statuses, like H-1B?

A: O-1 Status is distinguished from other employment related statuses in that it applies to more types of work than other areas. For instance, H-1B status is limited to foreign professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree for a specialty occupation. However, a broader set of aliens, suchas athletes or entertainers can apply for O-1 status. Moreover, the requirements for O-1 are much higher than that of H-1B. Also, O-1 status could be obtained by those in H-1B status who have exhausted their fully authorized stay.

Q: I am in J-1 status and therefore subject to the 2 years home residencyrequirement and it seems impossible for me to obtain a waiver of the 2-year rule. May I apply for O-1?

A: Yes, you can, but you have to apply for an O-1 visa from a US Consulate abroad in order to get O-1 status, since you may not change into a non-immigrant status in the US before you satisfy the two years home country residence requirement (or obtain a waiver to the requirement). Your prospective employer needs to file an O-1 petition to the USCIS. Once the O-1 petition is approved, you need to apply for O-1 visa at a U.S. consulate abroad. After you obtain an O visa, you may enter the U.S. immediately without fulfilling the two-year residency requirement or getting a waiver of the requirement.

Q: How can I obtain an O-1 visa?

A: Your prospective employer or agent must first get an approved O petition from the USCIS. After that you may apply for an O-1 visa either in your home country or a third county.

Q: What should I prepare before I file my O-1 petition?

A: Prior to your employer filing the O-1 petition you should obtain an advisory opinion from an appropriate consulting entity, such as a peer group, labor organization, or management organization. The advisory opinion is to state whether you qualify as an alien of extraordinary ability and whether such extraordinary abilities are required for the activities you will be undertaking. In certain cases this requirement can be waived or met by evidence that such an opinion is not available.

Q: What documentation must I submit for my O-1 petition?

A: You must present the following documentation:

Form I-129 with O/P Supplement and one of the following:

  1. An advisory opinion;
  2. Evidence that an appropriate consulting entity does not exist;
  3. A request for expeditious handling; or
  4. A request for a waiver of the consulting requirements;
  5. A company letter from the petitioning employer supporting the petition;
  6. Supporting Documentation; and
  7. Filing fee of $1325.00.

Q: What is “supporting documentation”?

A: The supporting documentation is to establish that the alien qualifies as an alien of extraordinary ability, and that the alien is going to be employed in activities using his extraordinary abilities. For information on the qualifications for O-1, please click here. Proof of the prospective employment is typically done through an employment contract combined with a written discussion of the work to be performed.

Q: What kinds of documents are “supporting documentation”?

A: The following types of documents can be submitted in support of an O Petition. But they are not exclusive and other forms of evidence may be used:

  1. Degree certificates and evaluation reports of the alien;
  2. Publications, presentations, abstracts, invitations to conferences for the alien as well as citations of such publications;
  3. Comments on the alien’s work by others in the alien’s field;
  4. Requests for reprints of alien’s publications;
  5. Evidence of awards or honors received;
  6. Evidence of membership in professional associations;
  7. Documents of alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as the judge of the work of others in the field;
  8. Critical reviews, advertisements, press releases, publications contracts, or endorsements;
  9. Box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales;
  10. Alien’s Curriculum Vitae; and
  11. Recommendation letters from experts in the alien’s field explaining his standing as an “alien of extraordinary ability”.

Q: I am a scientist and wish to petition for O-1. What are the requirements for my filing for O-1?

A: For aliens in the sciences, like you, or in other fields, such as, education, business, and athletics, the alien must show that he or she is atthe top of theirrespective field. This can be established through evidence of receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize. In absence of such an award one can establish himself or herself as a qualifying alien through at least three of the following types of evidence:

  1. Documentation of receipt of lesser nationally (not necessarily U.S.) or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  2. Documentation of membership in associations in the field of endeavor which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields;
  3. Published material in professional or major trade publication or in the major media about the alien and relating to the alien’s work in the field of endeavor;
  4. Evidence of participation as a judge (individually or as a part of a panel) of the work of others in the alien’s field;
  5. Evidence of scientific, scholarly, or business related contributions of major significance in the field of endeavor;
  6. Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media;
  7. Evidence of performance in a critical or essential capacity for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations;
  8. Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others; and
  9. Other comparable evidence.

Q: I am an artist and wish to apply for O-1 status? What are the requirements for my application?

A: As an artist, in order to apply for O-1 you must show that you have acquired “distinction” in your artistic field. “Distinction” means a high level of achievement as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person is described as prominent, leading, or well known in the field of arts.

Q: What evidence can show the established qualification for artists, movie or television stars applying for O-1? 

A: The alien artists, movie or television stars may establish qualification through evidence of nomination or receipt of a major, national or international recognized award such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award. In absence of such an award one can establish himself as a qualifying alien through at least three of the following types of evidence:

  1. Having been or will be performing a lead or starring role in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation (as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, press releases, publications contracts, or endorsements;
  2. Critical reviews or other published material in professional or major trade publication or in the major media by or about the alien which show that the alien has achieved national or international recognition or achievements;
  3. Evidence of performance in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations;
  4. Evidence of a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales;
  5. Evidence of significant recognition for achievements form organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field;
  6. Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others; and
  7. Other comparable evidence.

Q: My O-1 petition has been approved by the USCIS. How can I get an O-1 visa?

A: Once your O-1 Petition has been approved, you may apply for an O-1 Visa at a U.S. consulate in your home country, or certain third countries.

Q: What documents must I prepare for an application for an O-1 visa at a U.S. consulate?

A: The documents and information needed when you are applying for an O-1 visa are:

  1. Form DS-156 (non-immigrant visa application);
  2. Your passport;
  3. A recent photograph meeting these requirements;
  4. Visa application fee ($100.00)
  5. Approval Notice (Form I-797) of the O-1 Petition; and
  6. A full copy of the O-1 Petition including all supporting documentation.

Q: I am an assistant to a movie star who holds an O-1 visa. What kind of visa I should apply for in order to continue my assistant job for this movie star?

A: You may apply for an O-2 visa. To qualify for O-2 status, you must be an “integral part” of the actual performance and have “critical skills and experience” with the O-1 alien which are not of a general nature and which cannot be performed by U.S. workers.

Q: I am the spouse of an O-1 holder. What kind of visa I should apply for in order to accompany my spouse?

A: You may apply for an O-3 visa. As dependents of the principal O-1 holder, the spouse and any unmarried children may hold O-3 status. This status allows the O-3 alien to reside in the United States, but not to work.

Q: I am an O-3 holder. May I work in the U.S.?

A: No, you cannot work. The O-3 status allows the O-3 alien to reside in the United States, but not to work.

Q: How long can one maintain O-1 status?

A:  The length of the status is determined by the length of time needed for the alien to perform his duties or activities with the petitioner employer. Usually, an initial stay is limited to no more than three years, provided the petition can establish that the O-1 alien will need this much time for the proposed employment. This period may be extended at one-year increments thereafter, upon evidence showing that the alien’s continued presence would be required.

Q: How can an alien change into O-1 Status in the U.S.?

A: When the alien is already in the U.S., he can change his other non-immigrant status into O-1 status, if he qualifies as an O-1 alien. This option is not available to aliens who entered the US without inspection or who have overstayed their authorized term of admission under their previousnon-immigrant status. Furthermore, an alien who is subject to the J-1 two-year foreign residency requirement may not change his or her status in the U.S. and must obtain an O-1 visa after the O-1 petition is approved.


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