The O-1 visa is a temporary visa specifically for individuals who have extraordinary ability or achievement in academics, arts, or athletics. In order to obtain an O-visa for an employee or a contract worker, the employer must demonstrate that the individual’s ability has earned national or international recognition. O-1 visas are granted for up to three years initially, however, the visas may be extended in single-year increments if the same work continues.
A sponsoring contractor or employer must demonstrate that the individual meets criteria such as:
- Received a major award, typically internationally recognized, such as a Nobel Prize
- Awarded a national prize for excellence in his or her academic field or profession
- Member of an academic or professional society that requires recommendation for membership based on exceptional achievement
- Authorship of professional or academic articles or books, or other major media productions of international acclaim
- Membership as a judge or panel determining the merit of a scholarly or professional achievement of others in the appropriate field
- Letters of recommendation from at least five prominent colleagues in the field which specify the individual’s contributions to the field
P visas allow internationally recognized performers, artists, and athletes to work temporarily in the Unites States. In addition, spouses and children may accompany the holders of P visas to the United States for the length of the visa, but may not secure employment in the United States. P visas may be issued to an individual, a performing group, or an entire team.
To be eligible for a P visa, the following criteria must be met:
- The performer or athlete must perform at a level that attains international recognition
- Entertainers may be granted a P-2 visa to participate in an international reciprocal exchange program with a U.S. organization
- An applicant for P-3 visas to coach or teach under a cultural exchange program must typically be at least eighteen years of age
Read more about O and P visas at these pages on our website:
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