Extraordinary Ability Visas
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Best EB1 Lawyers
Yaghmai Law Firm, APC has the best EB1 attorneys who can guide you through the green card process, explain the EB1 green card requirements, and determine the best path for a foreign national to live and work in the United States through an extraordinary ability visa.
Our EB1 green card and EB1A green card attorney provides EB1-A green card services for individuals who may be considered an alien of extraordinary ability, such as elite athletes who are national or international champions (i.e. World Cup, Olympic Games, etc.), internationally recognized artists, writers, musicians, actors, actresses, entertainers, directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, scientists, executives, researchers, and more for immigration to the United States through a genius visa, also known as Einstein visa.
EB1A Green Card Process for Alien of Extraordinary Ability
Employment-based first preference, or EB1 visa, is a “fast-track” immigrant visa category, which is exempt from the labor certification application requirement. Individuals who qualify under any of its three (3) sub-categories listed below, can immediately file an I-140 immigrant visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Alien of Extraordinary Ability (EB1A or E-11) includes persons with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. This is usually available to an individual who is one of that small percentage who have reached the very top of the field of endeavor. The individual must also show sustained national acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise. Those who meet the regulatory standards do not need a job offer, and may file a self-sponsored petition. In other words, they do not need an employer to sponsor an immigrant visa petition on their behalf.
You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required.
EB1 Visa Requirements
The EB1A visa process and EB1A requirements can be confusing and burdensome even for the most sophisticated client. Our highly experienced EB-1 lawyer will determine your EB1 eligibility by asking you detailed questions during the consultation process and reviewing your documentary evidence.
Generally, you must meet 3 out of the 10 listed EB1A criteria below to prove extraordinary ability in your field and obtain an extraordinary ability green card:
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
- Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
- Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
- Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
- Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
- Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
- Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
- Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
- Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts
Our EB1A lawyer will determine if your specific case qualifies for an EB1 visa, also known as extraordinary ability visa, or EB1A green card and guide you through the lengthy and complex EB1 green card process.
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O-1 visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
The O nonimmigrant classification is commonly referred to as:
- O-1A visa: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
- O-1B visa: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
- O-2 visa: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1
- O-3 visa: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s
O1 Visa Requirements
To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. Our O1 visa lawyer Los Angeles will make this determination for you.
Requirements for both O1-A visas & O1-B visas:
- Consultation Letter: a written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability. If the O-1 petition is for an individual with extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television, the advisory opinions must come from an appropriate labor union and a management organization with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability.
- Contract Between Petitioner and Beneficiary: a copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed.
- Itineraries: An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities. The petitioner must establish that there are events or activities in the beneficiary’s field of extraordinary ability for the validity period requested, e.g. an itinerary for a tour or a series of events.
- Sponsor/Agent: a U.S. agent may be the actual employer of the beneficiary, the representative of both the employer and the beneficiary, or a person or entity authorized by the employer to act for, or in place of, the employer as its agent.
O-1A Visa Requirements
Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
To determine O1A visa eligiblity, the law requires evidence that the beneficiary has received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
- Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field
- Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the beneficiary related to the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
- A high salary or other remuneration for services or that the beneficiary will command a high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
If the above criteria do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility.
O-1B Visa Requirements
Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.
To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry and determine your O1B visa eligibility, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement in motion picture and television productions, which means a very high level of accomplishment in the motion picture or television industry as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.
- Evidence that the beneficiary has received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award, or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:
- Performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements
- Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications
- Performed and will perform in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.
- Demonstrated a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
- Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the beneficiary is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author’s authority, expertise and knowledge of the beneficiary’s achievements
- Commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence
If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation in the arts, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility (this comparable evidence exception does not apply to the motion picture or television industry).
O1 Visa Processing Time
Processing times for all USCIS petitions may be found on USCIS’s website. They vary greatly for each case and no estimate we make would be an accurate representation of how long your case will take to process.
O1 Period of Stay & Extension
The initial period of stay for an O-1 visa is up to 3 years and O1 renewals may be done in increments of 1 year with certain exceptions for materially different petitions allowing for a possibility of a 3 year extension.
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The O1 visa process is difficult, time consuming, and complex. It requires the expertise of an experienced immigration attorney.