O1 Visa: General Information

Many immigrants have achieved success in the United States with the help of a work visa or a green card.

One of the most coveted visas is the O1 Visa, which has helped many professionals to begin their career in the United States.

The O1 visa is for individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics or arts, or that throughout their career have demonstrated a record of outstanding achievement in the film industry, television or be recognized nationally and internationally for those achievements.

Although not exclusive, the following are some examples of common professions that may be eligible to use the O-1: artists; entertainers; models; chefs; business professionals; doctors; scientists; actors/actresses; professors; directors; set designers; choreographers; orchestrates; coaches; jugglers; arrangers; costume designers; make-up artists; stage technicians; animal trainers; musicians; fine artists; visual arts; culinary arts; specialized mechanices; designers; and technical and creative personnel.

This Visa is considered a non-immigrant visa, this mean that is not designed to directly provide the person holding the O-1 with permanent residency in the United States.

Unlike other visas, like the H1B visa, there are no limits on the number of O-1 visas available every year and everyone may submit an application at anytime.

The O-1 visa can be requested for up to a maximum of three years upon each filing. Unlike the H1B visa or L-1 Visa, there is technically no maximum period that an individual can be in O-1 status.

You may submit an O-1 petition up to one year in advance of the date you would like the O-1 to take effect. However, most people end up submitting within 3-6 months of the start date.