Application Process for an O-1 Visa

A U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or foreign employer through a U.S. agent should file (see Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) on your behalf, along with the required evidence according to the form instructions. Your employer or agent cannot file the petition more than one year before they actually need your services. To avoid delays, your employer or agent should file your Form I-129 at least 45 days before the date of employment.

In addition to Form I-129, the petitioner must submit the documentary evidence discussed below:

Consultation

The Petitioner must provide a written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person 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.

When a consultation includes a watermark or other distinctive marks to confirm the authenticity of the document, petitioners should submit to USCIS the version containing the watermark or other distinctive marks. Copies of documents that do not contain the appropriate watermark or other distinctive marks may raise doubts about the authenticity of the document and may result in processing delays. For example, USCIS may request that the petitioner submit the original version of the document. To avoid processing delays, petitioners should ensure that they submit the appropriate version and that any associated watermark or other distinctive marks are legible.

Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement

If your employer or agent can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group, including a labor organization, does not exist, then we will base our decision on the evidence they submit in support of the Form I-129. We may waive a consultation if you have extraordinary ability in the field of arts and you are seeking readmission to perform similar services within two years of the date of a previous consultation. Your employer or agent should submit a waiver request and a copy of the previous consultation with the petition.

For more information on consultations for O nonimmigrants, see USCIS Policy Manual Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 7.

Contract between petitioner and beneficiary

The Petitioner must submit a copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed. 

For additional information about the contract requirement for O-1 nonimmigrants, and considerations specific to agent petitioners, see USCIS Policy Manual Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 7.

Itineraries

The petitioner must provide an explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities, if applicable. The petitioner must establish that there are events or activities in your field of extraordinary ability for the validity period requested such as an itinerary for a tour or a series of events.

Agents

A U.S. agent may be your actual employer, the representative of both you and the employer, or a person or entity authorized by the employer to act for, or in place of, the employer as its agent.  Detailed information regarding USCIS policy relating to agent petitioners can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 3.

Evidence demonstrating O-1 Eligibility

The petitioner must provide evidence demonstrating your extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, business, education, or athletics, or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture industry.  The record must include at least three different types of documentation corresponding to those listed in the regulations, or comparable evidence in certain circumstances, and the evidence must, as a whole, demonstrate that you meet the relevant standards for classification. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Disclaimer We do not provide legal advice from this web site. At no time do we review your answers for legal sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide legal advice or apply the law to the facts of your particular situation.

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