O-1 Visa for Extraordinary Ability

Each visa petition in our San Francisco immigration department receives personal attention. O-1 visa petitions, though, present unique opportunities and sometimes very unique challenges. The O-1 visa category allows the immigration lawyers at Luscutoff, Lendormy & Associates to display their own artistry as skilled legal craftsmen.

Persons with so-called extraordinary ability, and who are candidates for the O-1 visa, are defined by law as workers who can show they have extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, athletics or business. That extraordinary ability must have been verified by constant national or international recognition and demonstrated in the field through extensive documentation. Luscutoff, Lendormy & Associates immigration law specialists caution that extraordinary ability, for purposes of the O-1 visa, is a certain level of expertise reflecting, clearly, that the individual is part of that small percentage of individuals who has risen to the very top of his or her field of endeavor. In other words, the O-1 visa applicant should be the cream of the crop.

At the time of his or her petition, an O-1 visa beneficiary must be coming to the United States on a temporary basis and the O-1 visa holder must continue to work in his or her area of extraordinary ability while in the U.S.

San Francisco lawyers in the immigration department of Luscutoff, Lendormy & Associates prepare every O-1 visa petition after analysis and careful “fact finding”. The following required petition materials and evidence must then be submitted on behalf of the O-1 visa petitioner:

  • A written advisory opinion from a recognized peer group, if such a peer group exists, with expertise in the foreign national’s special area of ability.
  • The written contract if any, between the petitioner and the foreign national or a summary of terms in any oral agreement covering the foreign national’s employment.
  • A schedule of events, including job activities and an explanation of the beginning and ending dates for the activities or events, together with a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities.
  • Satisfactory “objective” evidence that the foreign national has already been recognized as “extraordinary” and has already received a internationally-recognized major award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:
    • The beneficiary has received internationally or nationally recognized awards or prizes for excellence in the beneficiary’s field of endeavor.
    • The beneficiary holds membership in associations which require outstanding achievements in the field for which classification is sought by recognized judges and international experts.
    • The beneficiary has published articles in major trade publications, professional newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary or, the beneficiary’s work in the field for which extraordinary classification is sought.
    • The beneficiary has authored or conceived original scholarly, scientific or business-related contributions of extraordinary or otherwise major importance in the field.
    • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought.
    • The beneficiary receives a high salary or other compensation for the specified extraordinary services as demonstrated by contracts or other dependable evidence.
    • The beneficiary is active as a member of a panel, or is designated individually, to judge of the work of others in the field of specialization for which the extraordinary ability classification is sought.
    • The beneficiary has a history of prior employment in an essential or critical capacity for companies, organizations or societies that have a distinguished reputation in the field of extraordinary endeavor.

Sometimes Luscutoff, Lendormy & Associates immigration the candidate for an O-1 visa is in such a highly specialized field and possesses such unique qualifications that these standards simply do not apply to the beneficiary’s or to the petitioner’s occupation. In such a case, USCIS will accept comparable evidence in order to establish O-1 visa eligibility.

As a final note, and similar to the H-1B visa and L-1 visa classifications, the San Francisco-based immigration law attorneys at Luscutoff, Lendormy & Associates are able to advise each petitioner that, as something of a “bonus”, there is a growing body of rules and immigration law decisions that recognize the O-1 visa class as a dual intent category.