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What Exactly Is an O-1 Visa and Who Is It For?

by | Jun 9, 2021 | Immigration, O-1

Not just anyone can get an O-1 visa. That is probably the best place to start. This type of visa is typically reserved for world-class athletes, artists, entertainers and the like.

Those are just a sampling of the professions that qualify for O-1 visas, though. The O-1 is able to accommodate a wide range of foreign nationals who display specific talents and accomplishments, but might not qualify for the H-1B, TN, L-1, or other employment-based visas or wish to find an alternative to them.

If you are highly accomplished in your particular field, it may be worth looking at as an alternative to other visa options, such as the H-1B.

What Professions Can Qualify to Receive This Type of Visa?

While known for helping athletes and artists from other countries come to the U.S., O-1 visas can actually be used by people in a variety of fields:

  • High level managers and executives
  • Scientists
  • Professors
  • Physicians
  • And others in non-traditional occupations

Can Anyone in Those Specific Professions Get an O-1 Visa?

No. In order to qualify, you need to be able to offer evidence that you have either:

  • enjoyed national or international acclaim for a sustained amount of time, or
  • that you possess a record of extraordinary achievement in your particular field.

Additionally, you must show that your plan is to come to the United States to keep working in the field in which you have gained acclaim.

Our immigration team has enabled numerous clients to further their careers in the U.S. by helping them earn O-1 visas.



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