The O1 category visa is useful for artists, musicians, entertainers, lecturers, and other performers and persons of special talent who wish to come to the United States to perform. The O visa is a non-immigrant visa which may be granted for a period of time up to three years.
We have successfully assisted musicians, athletes, and other performing artists apply for and obtain O1 visas. If you think you may qualify for an O1 visa or would like to know if you may qualify please contact us for a free consultation.
Who Qualifies for an O1 Visa?
In order to qualify for an O category visa the applicant must establish that he or she is an “alien of extraordinary ability.” Thus, the applicant must be able to establish that he or she is recognized in the field in which he or she claims to have special talent or extraordinary ability. Examples of person who may qualify for an O visa are: musicians, playwrites, poets, comedians, singers, opera performers, and actors.
The petition for an O category visa must be filed by an agent or employer in the United States. The petition may not be filed by the alien performer personally. In many cases, the applicant will be required to a letter of recommendation from a recognized labor organization in the United States.
The O2 Visa
The O category also allows aliens who will accompany or assist the O-1 alien in his or her performance. Such aliens may enter the United States with a O2 visa. In order to obtain O2 status, it must be established that the alien is an “integral part” of the actual performance and has “critical skills and experience” with the O-1 alien which cannot be filled by a U.S. worker.