O-1A Visa 

O-1A Visa allows individuals with extraordinary abilities to come to the United States in a number of fields including business, sciences, education, and athletics.  

The O-1A Visa is for those who have risen to the top of their profession, the term used by the USCIS is “Extraordinary Ability”.  To prove O-1A Extraordinary Ability, you must demonstrate that you can fulfill at least 3 out of 8 criteria below:

  1. Nationally or internationally recognized prize or award, venture capital funding or grants. 

  2. Membership in associations that require outstanding achievement (guilds, etc.) 

  3. Published materials about you and your work (includes mass media)

  4. Demonstrate that you judged work of others in the same profession (such as a member of a jury) 

  5. An original contribution to your field (invention, discovery, original methods, patent, etc.) 

  6. Articles published by you 

  7. You were employed in essential or critical capacity (President, VP, etc.) 

  8. Received high salary or other high compensation 

 

Generally, O-1A is filed through a sponsoring employer. However, in September 2016 U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs Manual was amended to allow a company owned by an alien to petition for that alien. Therefore, the Department of Foreign Affairs allows aliens to petition for themselves through their own company in the United States. 

O-1A Visa may be granted for 3 years, with 1-year extensions, depending on the length of a project or other needs. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old can join the visa recipient. 

O-1A can lead to a Green Card through a process known as PERM Labor Certification or through a National Interest Waiver. 

To find out more about O-1A, please contact Chicago Law Group.