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O-1 Visa aliens of extraordinary ability or achievement

O-1 visa/status is targeted for aliens of extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, business and education. The application not only involves a great deal of documentation work to demonstrate the applicant's exceptional ability in his/her field, but also touches many legal issues in fully and appropriately understanding the requirements of an O-1 petition as set by the law. Therefore, if your O-1 petition is prepared with the help of an experienced attorney, your chances for success are greater.

Once our law firmed has been retained we will:

1) Effectively communicate with your (potential) employer to facilitate their sponsorship for your petition;

2) Provide sample recommendation letters applicable to your field, which can be used as a reference for you;

3) Review and edit your draft letters of recommendation to ensure that they include the appropriate language and meet the O-1 requirements;

4) Help your employer to draft the job offer letter detailing the position, the project, and your qualifications;

5) Help you to obtain the affidavit or advisory opinion with an appropriate peer group or independent consulting organization regarding the nature of the work to be done by you and your qualifications;

6) Guide you to collect all evidence that in the form of documentation for your O-1 petition;

7) Organize all the required documentation for your O-1 petition, including the signed recommendation letters;

8) Draft the petition letter on your behalf;

9) Submit the completed petition materials to the proper USCIS Center via registered mail; and

10) Contact the USCIS for the status inquiry of your pending case.

If the USCIS makes a request for additional evidence on your pending case, we will respond and submit the additional documentation required for your case to the USCIS in time. As soon as the USCIS makes a final decision on your O-1 application, we will inform you of the result.

How does one qualify for O-1 Status? Qualifications for O-1 status vary depending on the area of work, i.e. arts, sciences, etc.

1. For Aliens in the sciences, education, business, and athletics. For these fields, the alien must show that he/she is in the top of his respective 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 as a qualifying alien through at least three of the following types of evidence:

a. Documentation of receipt of lesser nationally (not necessarily U.S.) or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

b. 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;

c. 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;

d. Evidence of participation as a judge (individually or as a part of a panel) of the work of others in the alien's field;

e. Evidence of scientific, scholarly, or business related contributions of major significance in the field of endeavor;

f. Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media;

g. Evidence of performance in a critical or essential capacity for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations;

h. Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others; and

i. Other comparable evidence

2. For Aliens in the arts, motion pictures, or television. For the arts, the alien must show that he has acquired "distinction" in his 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: Persons in the motion picture or television industry must show a very high level of accomplishment evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person is recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the industry. Under these standards the requirements under the motion picture or television industry are somewhat higher than those for the arts. In either case, the forms of evidence to be used to establish the qualification is the same. The alien 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:

a. 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;

b. 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;

c. Evidence of performance in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations;

d. 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.

e. Evidence of significant recognition for achievements form organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field;

f. Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others; and

g. Other comparable evidence.

It should be noted that 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.

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