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O-1/EB-1 for Business Professionals and Entrepreneurs

Jon Velie gives you five useful ideas to help you analyze your situation and figure out if you are eligible to qualify for an O-1 extraordinary ability visa or an EB-1 green card, plus some tips to help you meet the criteria to live and work in the United States with one of these.

Watch the 10-minute video to find out more.

What do you do best in your field?

Simply owning or working for a great company is not enough on its own to prove extraordinary ability. You must also be able to provide evidence of your own achievements that point to a special talent, skill, or method.

How have you been recognized for skill in your field?

There are a number of ways you can show evidence for recognition as a businessperson. You must meet at least three of these to have a chance of qualifying for an EB-1 green card or O-1 visa.

These types of evidence include…

  • national or international awards that recognize your individual contribution or achievements;
  • membership of an association or organization that require outstanding achievement judged by recognized experts in the discipline;
  • work featured in major media or trade publications;
  • being appointed a judge of the work of others in your field;
  • articles in scholarly publications;
  • original business contributions of major significance in your commercial field;
  • serving in a leading or critical role in a highly regarded organization;
  • being able to command a high salary.

Under an O-1 visa can I work for my own company or consult elsewhere?

Yes, there are options. One possibility is to apply for an agent-based O-1 visa can enable the visa holder to subcontract or consult to third parties.

Is it enough to show letters from important people?

In short, no. Letters of recommendation carry no value on their own, but may be helpful if they refer to other more solid evidence. Please see the video for details.

What kind of evidence is viewed as insufficient in O-1 or EB-1 applications?

There are many common types of evidence that fail to carry weight, including local press, membership of organizations that do not set a barrier for entry other than paying the membership fee, student awards, regional awards, and internal company awards.