The O visas are a group of U.S non-immigrant visas designed to assist citizens of other countries who have extraordinary abilities, their assistants, and dependents come to the U.S to work. These U.S work visas allow people who have high achievements and education to find a job in the U.S and then come to work here for some time.
The O visas are divided into three types:
1) O-1 visa – These are for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement.
2) O-2 visa – These are for the assistants or the personnel of the O-1 holders.
3) O-3 visa – These are for the spouses and children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.
The O-1 visa is further divided into 2 types:
1) O-1A – for the extraordinary ability in science, athletics, and business.
2) O-1B – for the extraordinary ability as artists in the film or television or the arts.
1. What is O-1B visa?
The O-1B visa is a U.S work visa designed to give a chance to the artists to showcase their talents and work in the U.S. The artists can be from TV, film industries, or anyone from artists who have extraordinary abilities. They should have achieved and are recognized nationally and internationally in their areas of ability.
There is no cap to the number of visas issued under this category, anyone who fills the criteria can find a job and apply. The applicant has to individually qualify for the visa and not with the organization which has achieved recognition. The most important requirement of an O-1B visa is that the job should be according to the extraordinary ability of the applicant.
2. Requirements for O-1B visa
- A job in the specialized area,
- Employer should be ready to sponsor,
- The applicant should have extraordinary abilities in the field of arts or acting.Few criteria to determine the extraordinary ability for an O-1B visa;
- The applicant must have won a highly acclaimed award,
- Have held a leading role in an art, film, or TV production,
- The work as an artist should have won accolades,
- The person should be internationally recognized.
3. Validity of O-1B visa
The validity of an O-1B visa is three years and can be extended for 1 year, without any limit to the number of times. The only requirement is that the applicant should be eligible for an O-1B visa.
Thus, we saw that the O-1B visa is only for artists who have extraordinary abilities. If a person is an extraordinary artist, or an actor in television who has won the award for his work can become eligible. A key difference between an O-1B visa and other work visas is that for an O-1B visa extraordinary ability is a must. For other work visas such as H-1B, a job in the U.S. and the employer should sponsor the employee are the only requirements.
Another important aspect of this visa is that this visa can be issued to social media influencers. They are the ones, who have built a reputation on social media for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic.
As sometimes extraordinary ability is difficult to prove, a P-1B visa is an alternative to an O-1B visa. A person can get a visa temporarily for performance or any event. As an O-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, it does not lead to a green card. A person has to change the status from a non-immigrant to an immigrant before applying for a green card.
A drawback of this visa is that the spouse of the visa holder does not get a work permit to work in the U.S. The spouse will have to apply for a work visa to work in the U.S.