How to Qualify & Apply for an O-1 Visa for athletes
There are many athletes who have achieved success in the United States. Whether in soccer, major league, football and others, many immigrants have achieved success in North America and this has been possible thanks to an o1 visa.
It is understood that extraordinary skill that is developed as a notch above the rest, to clearly distinguish the predominant appreciation over the common and general concept of art, sports, or science.
Moreover, in the sciences, sports, business and industry, it reads on extraordinary skill as obtaining a level of specialization such that a particular person makes in a subject specialist and part of the higher sphere in the field.
Extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics means have achieved a level of expertise and therefore be considered part of the small percentage of people who are in the highest sphere in their field of specialty. Anyone specializing in sciences researcher or professional who wants to start a professional way in the United States may choose one O1 visa.
The O nonimmigrant classification is commonly referred to as:
- O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
- O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
- O-2: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1
- O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s
General Eligibility Criteria
To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.
Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. 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.
To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.
The applicant must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with the USCIS office that appears in the form instructions. The petition cannot be filed more than one year prior to the date on which needs to be supported and serviced in the United States. To avoid delays, you must deposit the Form I-129 at least 45 days before the date of employment. Please note that the applicant will be deposited as an agent for several employers must establish who is duly authorized to act as agent.
The applicant must deposit with I-129, Petition form for Nonimmigrant Worker, the following supporting documents:
- An advisory opinion written by a group of peers (including labor organizations) or persons designated by the group specializing in their area of expertise
- A copy of any written contract between you and the applicant or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed
- An explanation of the nature of events or activities, the start and end dates of the events and activities and a copy of any itinerary of events or activities
Application Process O-1 Visa
In order to make a strong petition for an O-1 visa, the following documentation should be submitted along with the petition form:
Document -> Consultation
A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability.
If the O-1 petition is for an individual with extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television, the consultation must come from an appropriate labor union and a management organization with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability.
Documents of a consultation involve a written opinion from a contemporary group, which may include labor organizations, with competence in the applicant’s area of expertise.
If the petition for an O-1 visa is for the benefit of a person possessing extraordinary achievement in television or motion picture industry, the consultation should be issued by an appropriate labor union and a management organization with adept knowledge in beneficiary’s area of expertise.
There are two exceptions, a consultation will not be required in the following instances:
- If a peer group or a labor organization with expertise in the area of beneficiary’s ability does not exist
- If the beneficiary alien is only seeking a readmission to the U.S. within two years from previous consultation to perform the same services. A waiver request and a copy of the previous consultation must be submitted by the petitioners.
Document a Contract
A copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed.
Important: USCIS will accept an oral contract, as evidenced by the summation of the elements of the oral agreement. Such evidence may include but is not limited to: emails between the contractual parties, a written summation of the terms of the agreement, or any other evidence which demonstrates that an oral agreement was created.
The summary of the terms of the oral agreement must contain:
- what was offered by the employer
- what was accepted by the employee
The summary does not have to be signed by both parties to establish the oral agreement. However, it must document the terms of the employment offered and that the beneficiary has agreed to the offer.
For purposes of proving an oral agreement, you may submit:
- Emails between the contracting parties
- Written summary of the terms of the contract.
- Other proof that an oral agreement has taken place.
The summary of Oral Agreement should include:
- What was offered by the employer in the U.S.
- What was accepted by the employee or beneficiary
The summary does not have to be signed by both parties because it suffices that the terms of the offer and acceptance are included.