Basic Requirements for Obtaining O-1 and O-2 Status

O-1 and O-2 Visa Processing Requirements:

The O-1 category is set aside for the principal alien with extraordinary ability. The law establishes three different standards for the O-1 category:

  • The most exacting standard applies to aliens in the sciences, education, business, and athletics.
  • A much less rigorous standard applies to individual aliens in the arts.
  • An intermediate standard applies to aliens of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or TV industries.

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(a)  Aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, and athletics

With regard to the first group of individuals who qualify for O-1 Status (aliens in the sciences, education, business, and athletics), the USCIS rules provide that only a person who is one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top of his or her field of endeavor qualifies for this type of extraordinary ability.

  • Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize.

(b)  Aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts

To qualify as a member of the second group of O-1 aliens (aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts), the USCIS rules require “distinction.” “Distinction” means a high level of achievement in the field of arts as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person is described as prominent, leading, or well known in the field of arts.

  • Evidence that the alien has been nominated for or has been the recipient of significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular Held, such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award.

(c)  Aliens of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or TV industries

To qualify as a person of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industries, it must be shown that the alien has a very high level of accomplishment in the motion picture or television industry 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 motion picture or television field. This standard is more exacting than the standard applicable to aliens of extraordinary ability in the arts but less rigorous than the standard applicable to aliens in the sciences, education, business, and athletics.

(d)  Work in the area of extraordinary ability or achievement

The O-1 alien must be coming to the United States to work in his or her area of extraordinary ability or achievement. Under prior rules, the Service had taken the position that the performance, event, or position must require the services of an alien of extraordinary ability or achievement.

Basic requirements for obtaining 0-2 status

The O-2 category is set aside for aliens who will accompany and assist in the artistic or athletic performance of an O-1 alien and aliens who will accompany and assist an O-1 alien on a specific motion picture or television production. O-2 aliens must have a foreign residence which they have no intention of abandoning; this requirement, which was eliminated for the H-1B category, is not imposed for O-1 aliens.

With regard to the O-2 category for aliens accompanying and assisting an O-1 alien on a specific motion picture or television production, the 1991 Amendments clarify that the alien must have skills and experience with the O-1 alien which are not of a general nature and which are critical:

  • Based on a pre-existing longstanding working relationship.
  • Because significant production will take place both inside and outside of the United States and the continuing participation of the alien is essential to the successful completion of the production.

If you have any question about O-1 and O-2 status, Please contact Wani & Associates for a free consultation. Wani & Associates, P.C is known for its accessibility to its clients. Call today at: 1-866-755-9264

http://www.wanilaw.com

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