These materials are provided solely for informational purposes and are not legal advice. Transmission of these materials is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon the information contained in these FAQs without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney.
What is an O-1 Petition?
An O-1 petition is a nonimmigrant visa petition for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, sports, or the motion picture industry. It enables foreign nationals who have achieved sustained national or international acclaim in their field to work temporarily in the U.S., in their area of extraordinary ability, for the petitioning U.S. employer.
How Do I Prove that I Have Extraordinary Ability?
U.S. immigration laws and USCIS require that very specific evidentiary criteria be met to demonstrate that the beneficiary of an O-1 petition possesses extraordinary ability. These standards are extremely high. We will work closely with the foreign national and the employer to confirm whether these criteria can be met— and if so, to provide the foreign national with detailed and customized instructions on obtaining documentary evidence necessary to demonstrate his or her extraordinary ability to the government.
What Will Be Required From the Foreign National?
O-1 petitions require a significant up-front investment of time on the part of the foreign national beneficiary. In addition to completing our questionnaires and providing basic immigration documents, the foreign national will need to provide extensive documentation regarding his or her achievements and acclaim. The foreign national will also need to obtain detailed, laudatory attestation letters from 5-7 independent experts in the field. WSM will provide detailed and customized instructions to the foreign national and will review all items after they are obtained, organized, and forwarded according to our instructions.
What Will Be Required from the Petitioning Employer?
The employer will need to complete questionnaires in order to provide detailed information about its business activity and the position that the foreign national will fill in the U.S. If WSM has worked with an employer in the past, this may be less burdensome. The employer will also need to identify and contact a professional organization, management association, union, or other “peer group” appropriate to the position and field in order obtain a consultation letter from that organization attesting that they have no objection to the foreign national being granted an O-1 visa to temporarily fill the position. WSM will provide the employer with a sample letter and will be happy to help the employer answer any questions about letter requirements. Additionally, towards the end of the process, the employer will need to sign various forms and an employer support letter.
How Long Will It Take to Prepare the O-1 Petition?
It typically takes about three (3) months to prepare an O-1 visa petition, but can vary depending on the employee’s responsiveness and how quickly WSM can obtain the signed letters from independent experts.
WSM is Ready to Assist
We hope that these answers are helpful. We look forward to working with you in a streamlined and cost-effective manner. We will provide detailed instructions and comments throughout the process.