I am a
and I need an O1 Visa Lawyer
We Exclusively Handle Talent Visas
We are an O-1 Visa Law Firm based in New York City and the only group of O1 Visa Attorneys in the US that exclusively handles O Visas and EB1 Visas, the talent visas. We have developed a quick and thorough process for taking our clients from evaluation to approval.
If an Attorney handles a wide field of visas, they aren't going to be in the practice of doing O1 Visas regularly because of how uncommon they are. Very specific procedural rules need to be followed in order to get an approval, and these are constantly changing.
Many of our cases are RFE or Denial referral work, which means clients are referred to us after getting a denial or RFE (request for evidence) on their case. These cases are mainly from people that hired general immigration attorneys or large firms. We strongly recommend you choose a lawyer that only does talent visas so you know you are working with people that know the ins and outs of current O-1 Visa Law.
What Is An O-1 Visa And Who Gets One
An O-1 Visa is a US employment based visa given to people with “extraordinary ability” in the fields of Arts, Athletics, Business, Education, or Science. The category "O-1 Visa" actually refers to two distinct work visas, an O-1A and an O-1B Visa. Although their benefits are the same, the criteria needed to qualify for the visas are different.
Those seeking a to work in the field of Arts must apply for an O-1B Visa, while those seeking to work in the fields of Athletics, Business, Education, or Science will be applying for an O-1A Visa.
If granted an O-1 Visa, you can bring both your support staff (O-2 Visa) and your spouse and dependents (O-3 Visa). The O-1 Visa allows you to live and work in the US for your ‘sponsor’, or the employer you applied for the Visa with. If your sponsor is an agent, you can work for any employer in the US, provided they contract with you through your sponsoring agent. In order to qualify for an O-1 Visa you have to show that you have a job offer in the US, and that you have achievements in your field of work that tend to demonstrate you have an ‘extraordinary ability’.
An O-1 Visa is sometime referred to as an ‘artist visa’ because it is the visa of choice for foreign artists working in the US, although it is not exclusively for artists. Some examples of the diverse field of O-1 Visa holders are Doctors, Professors, Executives, Actors, and Baseball players.
Transfer to the O1 Visa
When it comes to work visas in the US, the options are limited. Let me cover some of the most common scenarios and how they apply to the O-1 Visa. If you have worked here on a J-1 Visa, you need an O-1 Visa to be able to keep working here. You technically can get a waiver, but they are very hard to get and take a long time. Anyone that emails us and asks is the O-1 Visa the right one to be looking at, if they are on a J-1 Visa, the answer is YES. That doesn't necessarily mean you qualify, but it means you don't have any other choice. There is not another way for you to keep working in the US. J-1 visas can be Fulbright Scholars or other foreign students going through work training. J-1 to O-1 transfers make up 25% of our new cases.
After working in the US on OPT, if you want to continue working here your options are an H-1B visa or an O-1 Visa. The H-1B visa is a lottery program, the O-1 visa is merit based; not a lottery. If you are an artist or actor, the O-1 allows you to work for multiple employers. The H-1B is based off the employer, meaning they have to do a lot of the work to get approved. The O-1 is based off the individual, meaning the employer does very little. Currently the H-1B allows a spouse to work while the O-1 does not. The H-1B happens once a year while the O-1 Visa can be applied for year round. These are the differences. A lot of people apply for both visas.
Believe it or not, most people that apply for the O-1 Visa are already IN the US. In fact, many of them are already working for their employers. However, there is a decent amount (about 25%) that are not in the US and have been recruited, applied for, or otherwise gotten a US employer to agree to sponsor them. Generally the job offer comes before figuring out what the visa will be. Like the OPT to O1 Visa people, your options are the H-1B or the O-1 Visa.