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The O-1 visa is issued for temporary work assignments, and mainly provided to people who are excellent in their profession. Since this visa has been used largely by artists and people of the entertainment industry, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the O-1. Here are some of the popular myths about O-1, and the facts behind these misconceptions.
Fact – The statute governing O-1 visa includes professionals in sports, business, education, arts, and science fields. The interpretation of the statute by the Immigration Service encompasses professionals of almost all fields including designers and chefs as well.
Fact – Level of skill does play a major role in determining candidates for the O-1 visa; however, it is not limited to only the very best. The person should have greater ability compared to other people in the field, and should have been consistently recognized for their work. However, it mainly depends on the subjective judgment of immigration examiner, since there are not any objective standards for meeting the O-1 requirements.
Fact – For establishing excellence in a field, mere testimonial letters are usually not enough. To qualify for O-1 status the Immigrations Service requires certain evidence that includes press coverage of accomplishments, being member of organizations that accept only achievers, being employed by a reputed organization in a critical position, published works, and leading performances.
Fact – A sponsoring employer by itself is not enough for acquiring O-1 status. The person should also be able to produce the required evidence of establishing excellence in the field. Secondly, the person should also be able to show a deal memo or contract agreement for a project, from a reputed employer in the field.
Fact – Agency sponsorship will only be accepted when it is a recognized agency in the field, and there is proof of minimum one contract with a specific employer who is not part of the agency. The person will also have to produce the work itinerary showing the various projects, in which he or she will be taking part.
Fact – A person can work for various employers if he or she has multiple contracts. In such a case, the person can petition O-1 through agency sponsorship, and include all the contracts that he or she will be working on. The person will most probably be granted an umbrella O-1 covering the different employers.
Fact – O-1 visa is only granted for three-year period initially, as long as the person is able to show evidence of time required for completing specific projects.
Fact – Support personnel have to apply for an O-2 visa if they are accompanying the person with an O-1 visa, provided either of the following two conditions are met:
The support person has a long professional working relationship with the O-1 person
The support person has been working on a certain project with the O-1 person that has to continue in the U.S.
Call Los Angeles O-1 visa attorney Patricia Depew today for a free consultation. Patricia represents clients throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, the San Fernando Valley region, and the surrounding areas. She can help you with your case and make sure that you understand exactly how the O-1 visa applies to your scenario.
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14500 Roscoe Boulevard, 4th floor
Panorama City, California 91402
(northern San Fernando Valley)
15303 Ventura Boulevard, 9th floor
Sherman Oaks, California 91403
This publication and the information included in it are not intended to serve as a substitute for consultation with an attorney. Specific legal issues, concerns and conditions always require the advice of appropriate legal professionals.