Specific O Visa Application Requirements
The O visa petition has a few requirements that are specific to this type of visa. The visa is granted based on an extraordinary ability of the beneficiary and a particular activity or job in that area of special ability. Both the ability and the employment activity need to be demonstrated to USCIS. There are a few ways to accomplish this. For more information on the specific requirements for an O-1A visa, please read more here. [LINK TO O-1A VISA REQS] For more information on the specific requirements for an O-1B visa, please read more here. [LINK TO O-1B VISA REQS]
What is a Consultation to Prove Ability of the Beneficiary to USCIS?
One of the requirements for the O visa is a consultation or a written advisory. This written advisory opinion must be obtained from a source with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability. This may be a peer group, including labor organizations, or a person designated by the group as an expert. In the case of an O-1 petition for an individual with extraordinary achievement in the field of motion pictures or television, the consultation or written advisory is still required. However, it must be obtained from an appropriate labor union and a management organization with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability.
Does USCIS Provide any Exceptions to the Consultation Requirement?
If the petitioner can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group, including a labor organization, does not exist, then the decision will be based on the evidence of record. A consultation may be waived for a noncitizen with extraordinary ability in the field of arts if the beneficiary seeks readmission to perform similar services within two years of the date of a previous consultation. In such cases, the petitioner should submit a waiver request and a copy of the previous consultation with the petition.
What does USCIS Consider a Valid Contract Between the Petitioner and Beneficiary to Substantiate Employment Activity?
USCIS will want proof showing that there is a need for the beneficiary to come to the U.S. for an activity or employment. A copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary would suffice to demonstrate the need. USCIS will accept an oral contract, as evidenced by the summation of the elements of the oral agreement. The summary of the terms of the oral agreement must contain what was offered by the employer and hat was accepted by the employee. The summary does not have to be signed by both parties to establish the oral agreement. However, it must document the terms of the employment offered and that the beneficiary has agreed to the offer. Documentation may include emails between the contractual parties, a written summation of the terms of the agreement, or any other evidence which demonstrates that an oral agreement was created.
What are the USCIS Requirements for the Itinerary Showing the Schedule of Activities, Employment or Events in the United States?
The petitioner requesting the O visa must be able to establish that during the period of visa validity, there are events or activities in the beneficiary’s field of extraordinary ability. For example, a petition for a talented musician may include an itinerary for a tour or a series of music related events that occur during the time that the musician will be in the United States. Ideally, your petitioner should provide USCIS with an itinerary for the events or activities that includes such details as an explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities.
Immigration law is a complex field and the USCIS frequently changes rules and regulations. At JCS Immigration and Visa Services, our focus is immigration law and we strive to meet all of your immigration and visa needs. If you need help with your O visa petition, please feel free to contact our experienced immigration and visa attorneys for assistance. [LINK TO CONTACT JCS]