*Practice limited to federal immigration law. Licensed in NY, MA, but not in CA.

How to Prepare to Apply for an O-1 Visa

An O-1 visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that is reserved specifically for people with “extraordinary” abilities. As explained by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you may be eligible for an O-1 visa if you can demonstrate a record of superior talent and/or ability in the field such as the arts, education, business, sports, movies, or television. Here, our Los Angeles O-1 visa attorneys explain some of the important things to know about preparing for the O-1 visa application process.

Five Steps to Prepare a Successful O-1 Visa Application

1. Review the O-1 Visa Requirements

Before you get too deep in the application process, it is important to confirm that you meet the legal requirements to get a visa. Make sure that you or your loved one is applying for the right visa to meet your needs. You can only obtain an O-1 visa if you can prove, with sufficient evidence, that you possess extraordinary ability in your specific field. This can be complicated—after all, extraordinary ability is a vague and context-specific concept. 

2. Coordinate With Your U.S. Sponsor

To obtain an O-1 visa, an applicant needs a U.S. sponsor. With these types of visas, that sponsor may be an employer or it may be an “agent”. In other words, unlike some other non-immigrant visas, your actual employer does not necessarily need to sponsor your O-1 application. Regardless of the sponsor, it is important to coordinate with the sponsor to ensure that the application is in order.  

3. Prepare All Relevant Supporting Documentation

A successful O-1 visa petition requires extensive supporting documentation. Indeed, most of the applicants who run into avoidable problems during the review process do so, at least in part, because they failed to offer adequate supporting documents and records. The more evidence that you can include that supports your demonstrated abilities/accomplishments and your impending work in the United States, the more likely that your O-1 visa will be approved. 

4. Complete the Form I-129 Petition

O-1 visa applicants must complete the Form I-129 Petition. As processing times can sometimes be frustratingly slow, it is recommended that you submit your completed Form I-129 as early as reasonably possible. 

5. Consult With a Los Angeles, CA O-1 Visa Lawyer

Professional support is just a phone call away. In many ways, O-1 visas are more complicated and more subjective than many other types of non-immigrant visas. If you or someone you know is seeking an O-1 visa, it is imperative that you are able to put together a properly crafted, well-supported application process. 

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we have extensive experience helping clients navigating the O-1 visa application process. If you have run into any problems or if you have general questions about your rights/options, our attorney is ready to help. Call (213) 262-2000 today for strictly confidential legal guidance. We represent clients throughout Los Angeles County, including in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, and Santa Clarita.