When someone becomes an expert in their field, they want to go bigger. The world still views the United States as the land of opportunities. In fact, the U.S. welcomes innovation and highly skilled individuals. But to get anywhere, it is important to first get a visa. The United States has unlimited types of visas for different purposes. Here we will talk about the O-1 visa and how to obtain it as an entrepreneur.
What Is An O1 Visa?
The O-1 visa is a non-immigrant type visa for the United States. They issue this visa to those foreign nationals that exhibit exceptional abilities. Typically, in the fields of Arts, Sciences, Business, Education, or Athletics. This is an employment-related status. And you can only apply for this type of visa with the help of a U.S. national. Only a U.S citizen, employer or agent, or a foreign employer working for a U.S agent on behalf of the beneficiary can file a petition for the visa.
With this visa, the holders gain access to the United States for a temporary period. And have the license to work in their particular field. This visa is normally valid for three years. However, one-year extensions are possible. As long as the visa holder can show that they are working on the same project. Or the same position that they had originally applied for.
Those accompanying O-1 Visa holders, such as spouses and children, are eligible for the O-3 Visa. And can travel along with the primary visa holders. The O-3 Visa would grant them permission to study but not work with this visa. 0-3 visa holders may arrive with the primary visa holders or at a later day. Plus, they can stay with them throughout their stay.
Who Is Eligible For an O-1 Visa?
To be eligible for this type of visa, you must show exceptional abilities in your field. Generally, the fields include Art, Sciences, Music, Athletics, Business, and Education. Plus the individual needs national or international recognization. It is also issued to those individuals who display exceptional abilities in Motion pictures and Television. If they wish to visit the United States to pursue their careers further.
Extraordinary ability refers to a level of distinction and expertise in the field. This is a high-level degree. Well renowned in the particular field? Then you can prove the degree of skill and recognition. Here are the following examples of being an expert in your chosen field.
- Their work should have been featured in professional or high-profile trade publications or even mainstream media.
- They should have had their articles published in professional or renowned trade publications.
- Their salary or remuneration must be high for providing their services
- They should have made significant contributions in their field with a hundred percent original work
- The applicant should have served as a judge or as part of a judging panel in the same or similar field
Process of Obtaining an O-1 Visa
These are the following steps that the applicant and the employer must follow when applying for an O-1 visa:
The employer or agent would have to file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS on the applicant’s behalf
They must file and complete the form l-129, petition for a non-immigrant worker to the USCIS, and submit the application fee and the necessary documents. You should start this process 45 days before the employment period of the applicant begins. But don’t apply for it before one year. If the USCIS gives the agent positive notice of their decision, then the applicant may begin preparing for the application.
The applicant must file the DS-160 electronic form that everyone who is applying to the United States must file
The DS-160 form is an online application form present on the Consular Application website, and once filled out, the confirmation page of the application must be printed out and attached to the document file.
The applicant must pay the visa processing fee
This is a visa processing fee that everyone must pay. You can pay this amount online or through a bank. But save the receipt as you need to attach it and show it on the day of the appointment.
The applicant must schedule an appointment for a visa interview with the nearest U.S Embassy
After completing the DS-160 form, the applicant must schedule an appointment at the nearest U.S embassy. In some countries, you can do this online.
The applicant must put together all the documents required for the application
Between the date of the appointment and scheduling its date, the applicant must gather all their documents together. This is a time-consuming process, and it is recommended to have all documentation ready beforehand. The documents required are as follows:
- A written recommendation from someone who is an expert in the same field as that of the applicants.
- A written copy of the work contract between the employer and the visa applicant
- A document mentions the activities and events that the applicant will be a part of. It must include the dates of the events as well as the activities that will be going on on those dates.
- Proof of the applicant’s achievements or awards received.
- Any publications in their name.
- The contribution of the applicant in their field.
- Proof of being paid a high salary for their services.
The applicant must attend the interview on the scheduled date at the U.S embassy or Consulate and submit all the documents
The interview holds a lot of weightage in the visa application process, and a lot depends on it. On the interview day, the applicant will also be submitting all their requirements. They will be asked questions related to their field, like how long they have been working and how would going to the U.S. help advance their career,
The O-1 visa happens to be a straightforward method and can be used by any entrepreneur who wants to further their career in America. The USCIS allows constant visa approvals, so even if it took the applicant almost two years to set up their business, they could always renew their status without worrying about having to leave.