O-1 Visa is a Likely Alternative Option to H-1b For Those Not Selected in the H-1b Lottery

Limited Capacity For H-1B Visas Makes Obtaining The Visa Difficult

Under the current law, only 85,000 people are granted H-1B visas each year through a computer-generated lottery system. Because the USCIS is being bombarded with three times as many applicants as it can grant visas, its important for foreign nationals to consider alternative methods when seeking employment in the United States. An O-1 visa could be the perfect solution for an individual who was denied a H-1B status as there is no limit to how many people could qualify for O-1 status annually and the visa could potentially be renewed indefinitely.

O-1 Visas Are The Perfect Alternative For Foreign Nationals Seeking Employment In The US

The O-1 visa is for people who are at the top of their field and are coming to the U.S. to further pursue work in that field. To receive the visa, a person must demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or have a record of extraordinary achievement and recognition in the motion picture or television industry. While applying for O status, an individual does not need to maintain foreign residence or show intent of returning to his or her home country. To qualify for the visa, a person must demonstrate they are prominent in their field by providing evidence of receiving a major internationally recognized award. Alternatively, a person can prove their eligibility through having significant achievements on their resume. Having earned national awards, holding membership in associations which require outstanding achievements, publishing material, contributing original scientific, scholarly or business of major significance in the field, being employed in an essential capacity for reputable organizations, and earning a high salary are all factors that can make an applicant more attractive.

O-1 Visas Could Allow A Person To Stay In The U.S. Indefinitely

A petitioner can be granted an O-1 visa initially for up to a period of three years. They will be allowed to enter the U.S. up to 10 days before the petition validity period begins and will be given 10 days after to leave. There is no maximum overall time in which a person may hold an O visa; however, the USCIS will only grant extensions in increments of up to a year. Extensions will be granted so long as the beneficiary continues to perform duties to complete the initial event or activity he or she was admitted for. A person may also be granted an extension of up to 3 years if an extension of stay is filed by a new employer or filed by the original employer or a new position.

Dependents Of O-1 Visa Holders Can Also Be Granted Visas

The spouse and children under the age of 21 of O-1 visa holders are entitled to O-3 visas. Under the O-3 visa, dependents will be allowed to study however they will not be work eligible.

Interested in finding out more? This D’Alessio Law Group blog is here to educate our readers on all work visa topics but we understand that sometimes this can create more questions. We can guide you through the steps you need to take in order to be informed about your visa options. Give our office a call at (310) 909-3934 or e-mail workvisa@dlgimmigration.com for more information so we can book you a consultation with one of our attorneys!


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