O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC

O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC | Feiner & Lavy Law Firm

Individuals who have extraordinary talent and abilities in sciences, athletics, business, or education may be eligible for a special visa allowing them to gain entry into the United States, called a O-1 visa. An O-1 visa may also be available for individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary achievement in the movie or television industries and have been recognized in the United States or internationally for their achievements.

An O-1 visa is available for individuals meeting certain requirements who wish to come to the United States on a temporary basis for work-related events or matters. This visa category is one of the temporary (nonimmigrant) worker classifications.

In many cases, employers will petition on behalf of an eligible O-1 visa beneficiary. If you are wondering if you or your employee might be eligible for this visa, an O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC can help.

Feiner & Lavy, P.C. – O-1 Visa Lawyers NYC

The experienced immigration lawyers at Feiner & Lavy, P.C. have been helping people with all different kinds of immigration-related matters for decades. We are dedicated to fighting for the legal rights of our clients and helping them find success throughout the immigration process. If you are thinking about moving forward with an O-1 visa petition, contact our office today to find out more about what we can do to help you navigate this process.

What Is The “O” Nonimmigrant Classification?

People who are eligible for an O-1 visa are divided into two main classifications for visa purposes, O-1A and O-1B. 

O-1A – These individuals have demonstrated extraordinary ability in one or more areas including, sciences, business, athletics, or education.

O-1B – These individuals have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the arts or have an extraordinary achievement in the movie or television industry.

Other “O” visa classifications include O-2 and O-3. To be eligible for an O-2 visa, you must be an individual who will accompany an O-1 athlete or artist to help them participate in a specific performance or event. Spouses and children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders may also be eligible for an O-3 visa to accompany their family members to the U.S.

How Do I Apply for an O-1 Visa?

An O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC is a great resource for individuals or employers considering applying for an O-1 visa. An experienced attorney can help you throughout this process and can help you ensure you include all of the necessary documentation with your petition.

Generally, the form used when petitioning for an O-1 visa is the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129. In most cases, this is filled out by the employer of the eligible individual (beneficiary).

When putting together a petition for an O-1 visa, it is helpful to keep in mind that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers reviewing the petition must apply the “preponderance of the evidence” standard when assessing eligibility for this type of nonimmigrant classification. This is a legal standard that requires the evidence to be sufficient to establish that a claim is more likely to be true than not.

Additionally, it is also important to keep in mind throughout this process that the burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility for an O-1 visa. Since the petition requirements for this type of visa can be complex, it is a good idea to speak to an O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC first before filing a petition for an O-1 visa.

How Do I Establish My Extraordinary Ability for O-1A Visa Eligibility?

Generally, a petition for an O-1 visa must include either evidence of the receipt of (or nomination for, depending on the category) a qualifying award—such as a Nobel Prize—or at least three alternate forms of evidence that satisfy the requirement that you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, business, athletics, or education. The evidentiary criteria as established by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services includes the following:

  • Documentation of nationally or internationally recognized awards or prizes given for excellence to the beneficiary in their field.
  • Proof of the beneficiary’s membership in associations in their classification field which require members to have outstanding achievements and membership is judged by national or international experts in their field or disciplines.
  • Any published material in major media, trade, or professional publications relating to the beneficiary and their work in the field for which classification is sought. Evidence submitted in support of this criteria must include the date, title, and author of the published material, along with translation if necessary.
  • Evidence showing the beneficiary’s participation either on a panel or individually as a judge of others’ work in the same field as the beneficiary.
  • Evidence that shows the beneficiary’s original scholarly, scientific, or business-related contributions of major significance in their field.
  • Copies of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media, authored by the beneficiary.
  • Evidence showing that the beneficiary has been employed in an essential or vital capacity for establishments or organizations with a distinguished reputation.
  • Evidence demonstrating that the beneficiary has or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, as evidenced by contracts or another form of reliable evidence.

The more supporting evidence you have to show that you meet the above criteria, the better. An O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC can help you understand more about the process and help you determine what evidence you will need to prove your eligibility for an O-1A visa.

How Do I Establish My Extraordinary Ability for O-1B Visa Eligibility?

The process to establish an extraordinary ability for the purposes of O-1B visa eligibility is similar to the O-1A visa process. The main difference is that this type of visa is available for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the movie or television industry.

To be eligible, your petition for the visa must include evidence of the receipt of (or nomination for, depending on the category) a qualifying award or at least three alternate forms of evidence that satisfy this requirement. For an O-1B visa, these alternate forms of evidence include:

  • Evidence demonstrating that the beneficiary has performed and will perform services as a lead or a main participant in events or productions with a distinguished reputation; 
  • Evidence showing that the beneficiary is nationally or internationally recognized for their achievements, as evidenced by reviews or published materials about or by the beneficiary in trade journals, magazines, major newspapers, or other publications;
  • Evidence demonstrating that the beneficiary has and will perform in a lead, starring, or crucial role for establishments and organizations with a distinguished reputation—as evidenced by articles in newspapers, publications, testimonials, or trade journals;
  • Evidence showing the beneficiary has a record of critically acclaimed or major commercial success, as evidenced by indicators such as title, standing in the field, motion picture or television ratings, box office receipts, ratings, and other achievements reported in major newspapers, trade journals, or other publications;
  • Evidence that the beneficiary has gained significant recognition for their achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in their field. This evidence should be in testimonial form, which clearly indicates the author’s expertise, authority, and knowledge of the beneficiary’s achievements;
  • Evidence showing that the beneficiary has or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for their services in relation to others in the same field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence.

An O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC can break down these criteria to help you determine exactly what supporting documentation will be required to give you the best chance at obtaining an O-1 visa given your own unique personal circumstances.

Am I Guaranteed An O-1 Visa If I Meet the Evidentiary Requirements?

No. Merely submitting evidence of receiving (or being nominated for) a qualifying award or submitting three or more alternate forms of acceptable evidence to establish your extraordinary ability does not automatically mean that you will be granted an O-1 Visa. Before you submit your petition for an O-1 visa, it is always a good idea to speak with an experienced O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC first, so that you can be sure that you are including all of the necessary documentation.

The next step in the process to determine whether you are eligible for O-1 classification and an O-1 visa requires the USCIS to make an eligibility determination based on all of the evidence submitted as a whole. In other words, USCIS will decide whether the totality of the evidence you submitted establishes that you are a person of extraordinary ability or achievement, as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

How Does the USCIS Make a Final Decision on the Totality of the Evidence?

If you are petitioning as an O-1A beneficiary, a USCIS officer will review all of the evidence as a whole to determine whether it establishes that you have sustained national or international acclaim. The officer will also determine whether you are one of the small percentages who have risen to the very top of your field. At this stage in the process, USCIS officers are able to consider any evidence that is potentially relevant, even if that evidence does not fit into one of the regulatory criteria or it was not presented as comparable evidence.

If you are petitioning as an O-1B beneficiary in the Arts category, a USCIS officer will assess whether you have sustained national or international acclaim and have achieved distinction in the field of arts. For those petitioning as an O-1B beneficiary in the motion picture or television production industry, a USCIS officer will evaluate whether you have a record of extraordinary achievement in this industry. The officer will look for a very high level of accomplishment, as evidenced by a degree of recognition and skill substantially above that ordinarily found, resulting in recognition as notable, outstanding, or a leader in the field.

If your O-1 visa petition is approved by USCIS, you will receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797). This form will notify the petitioner of the approval.

What Happens If My O-1 Visa Petition Is Denied?

In some cases, a USCIS officer may determine that the O-1 visa petitioner has failed to meet the standards referenced above and has not established that the beneficiary is eligible for an O-1 visa. When the decision is a denial, the petitioner must be provided a written decision that includes the specific reasons as to why the petitioner has not demonstrated, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the beneficiary is a person of extraordinary achievement or ability, based on the relevant regulatory and statutory language.

Additionally, the written decision provided to the petitioner must also include information regarding the petitioner’s right to appeal the decision and provide information regarding the opportunity to file a motion to reopen or reconsider. If your petition for an O-1 visa was denied, contact an O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC right away to find out what options you may have for moving forward. There may be a time limit for which appeals or motions following the unfavorable decision must be filed, so it is recommended to speak with an O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC as soon as possible.

Can My Approved Petition for an O-1 Visa Ever Be Revoked?

Yes. The USCIS has the authority to revoke an approved petition at any time. The petition will be automatically revoked in the event of the petitioner’s death or if the petitioner files a written withdrawal of the petition. In addition, USCIS may also revoke an O-1 visa petition with notice for several reasons, such as:

  • The statement of facts in the petition was not true and correct;
  • The beneficiary is no longer employed by the petitioner as specified in the petition;
  • The petitioner violated any terms and conditions of the approved petition;
  • The approval of the petition involved gross error or violated the regulations;
  • The petitioner violated the statute or regulations.

If USCIS intends to revoke an approved petition, it will send the petitioner a Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOIR). This Notice must contain details regarding the grounds for the revocation and include the period allowed for the petitioner’s rebuttal. When a petition is revoked on notice, the petitioner has a right to appeal the decision. If your approved petition is revoked, it is a good idea to contact an O-1 Visa Lawyer NYC immediately.

For more information regarding obtaining an O-1 visa or for any other immigration matters, contact Feiner and Lavy, P.C. today.



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**This is general information and is NOT intended to provide legal advice.