For the O-1 category, the applicant must exhibit sustained national or international recognition. If the field is in cinema or TV, documentation need only be shown of prominence in the field. Essential personnel such as choreographers for dancers, or for opera performances, or arrangers, designers and even for animal trainers are eligible.
Although the O visa is for temporary employment, concurrent applications for permanent residence are allowed as the statute permits dual intent. Accompanists or assistants may be granted an O-2 visa as long as the accompanist or assistant is an integral part of the event, and the accompanist or assistant has special ability and experience that cannot be duplicated by anyone else. For the O-2, a foreign residence is required which the applicant has no intent to abandon.
The O-1â€™s ability must be such that he/she is one of a small percentage that has risen to the top of the profession or a high level of achievement substantially greater than ordinarily encountered. For the performing arts, proof that the artist is prominent in the field is sufficient.
Proof required for outstanding ability
Major internationally recognized awards would be enough or fulfilling at least three of the criteria below:
Proof required for the arts
Nomination for an international or national award or prize or for showing the applicant qualifies for at least three of the criteria below:
In the arts, science, education, business or athletics, comparable evidence may serve if the aforementioned criteria do not readily apply in the occupation for which the applicant is applying.
Advisory opinions from appropriate unions, if one exists, describing the beneficiaryâ€™s ability and achievements in the field for the duties are required or if no union exists, then from any expert source.
The O-1 candidate may not self-petition. Where the applicant is self employed, a U.S. agent is required to file for the applicant. The petition may not be filed more than one year earlier than the work will commence. If the work will be in different places an itinerary must be provided. If there will be several employers, each employer must file although if there is an agent, the agent may file for all. The period of the authorized stay will be issued for the time needed for the event but in no case for more than three years. Extensions in increments of one year may be allowed.
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