What’s so great about the O-1 visa?
Here is an excerpt from the “O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievements” chapter in my book Beyond the H-1B: A Guide to Work Visa Options for Employers, Foreign Nationals, and Graduating Students, which is available for purchase on Amazon.
The O-1 visa is especially helpful for highly accomplished athletes, managers, executives, scientists, professors, physicians, artists, entertainers, and others in non-traditional occupations who can show sustained national or international acclaim or a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the field and are coming to the U.S. to continue working in their field of expertise.
This visa accommodates a wide range of talented and accomplished foreign nationals who might not qualify for other employment-based visas, such as the H-1B, TN, or L-1, or who are looking for an alternative to these visas. We have successfully obtained the O-1 classification for many talented clients and helped them further their careers in the U.S.
The O-1 has three classifications: (1) the O-1A for those with extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics; (2) the O-1B for those with extraordinary ability in the arts; and (3) the O-1B for those with extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television production industry.
Are there benefits to getting an O-1 visa instead of an H-1B visa?
Yes, there are many benefits to the O-1 versus the H-1B visa. These include:
- No annual limit for visas (i.e., you can file at any time);
- Unlimited extensions in one-year increments;
- No restrictions on the level of education of the applicant, which makes the O-1 a useful and relevant alternative for distinguished athletes, entertainers, and business people;
- No prevailing wage obligation; and
- No testing of the labor market required for a green card application.
Buy the book to read the full chapter and learn about other alternatives to the H-1B.
Originally published 11/1/17. Updated 5/19/21.