The O-1 visa is a non-immigrant US visa that allows individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics to work in the United States. While the O-1 visa is commonly associated with the entertainment industry and the arts, it can also be used by business professionals who can demonstrate their extraordinary ability in their field. In this blog post, we will explore how business professionals can apply for an O-1 visa.
What is an O-1 Visa?
The O-1 visa is a temporary work visa that allows individuals with extraordinary ability in their field to work in the United States for a period of up to three years. It is a non-immigrant US visa, which means that it does not lead to permanent residency or a green card. The O-1 visa is divided into two categories: the O-1A visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics, and the O-1B visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or entertainment industry.
Requirements for an O-1A Visa
To qualify for an O-1A visa for business, an individual must demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field. This can be demonstrated through a variety of criteria, including:
Evidence of a major international award or prize in their field
Membership in an association in their field that requires outstanding achievement
Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media outlets
A high salary or other remuneration for services
Participation as a judge of the work of others in their field
Evidence of original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in their field
Authorship of scholarly articles in their field
In addition to meeting the criteria for extraordinary ability, an individual must also have a job offer in the United States and a U.S. employer who will sponsor their visa application. The employer must provide a detailed job description and demonstrate that the individual’s work is in the national interest of the United States.
Benefits of an O-1 Visa for Business
When compared to other types of visas for short-term employment, the O-1 visa for business is the most desirable option when it comes to non-immigrant US visas. Here are a few reasons why:
One of the main benefits of the O-1 visa for business is that it allows highly skilled professionals to work in the United States without having to go through the lengthy and often complicated H-1B visa process or fulfill the requirements of the Labor Condition Application, as required for an H-1B visa.
The O-1 visa is not subject to restrictions pertaining to work, location, wage, residence etc.
Another benefit of the O-1 visa is that it allows individuals to work for themselves or start their own business in the United States. This can be especially beneficial for entrepreneurs or business professionals who have highly specialized skills.
The O-1 visa for business does not have a limit to stay in the US. This seems an attractive option for the H-1B and L-1 visa holders who are closing in on their stay limit stipulated by law.
Another attraction in the O-1 visa is that the family of the visa holder can stay and leave the US at any time and stay as long as they desire till the stamp of the visa is valid. Moreover, the spouse and the unmarried children under the age of 21 are given O-3 visa, but they are not allowed to work as employees in the US.
There is no requirement for applicants for an O-1 visa to show that they will maintain their overseas residence. For some O-1 visa holders, US Green Card petitions under EB-1 or the National Interest Waiver can be filed without a sponsoring employer or a labor certification.
However, unlike the H-1B visa, the O-1 visa for business does not have any professional or academic degree requirement for approval, nor does it have any average salary criterion, nor is there an annual cap on the number of visas awarded to an O-1 visa holder.
The O-1 visa for business is a great option for business professionals who can demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field. By meeting the criteria for extraordinary ability and having a US employer sponsor their visa application, individuals can work in the United States for up to three years without having to go through the H-1B visa process. While the process can be complicated, the benefits are significant, allowing individuals to work for themselves or start their own businesses in the United States. Get in touch with us at Sidman Law Group for an initial evaluation of your case. Our immigration lawyers are here to guide you through the process of obtaining an O-1 visa in the US. So call us at 818-981-0352 or fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.