One of the most common questions immigration attorneys hear is, “Do I qualify for an extraordinary ability O-1 visa or EB-1 green card?”
OnlineVisas‘ CEO and Lead Attorney Jon Velie takes you through a simple step-by-step process to discover whether you may be eligible for an O-1 visa or EB-1 green card to live and work in the United States.
The way to figure out if you are eligible, and to prove what you need in order to obtain your visa, we need to ask what U.S. immigration looks for when evaluating the extraordinary ability U.S. visa types.
O-1/EB-1 Top 5 Questions to Ask
1. Do I have extraordinary ability?
What are you exceptionally good at? How can you show that you have risen to the top of your profession in some way?
One tip is to think about the biggest pond in which you can show you are one of the biggest fish. You do not have to be at the very top of your field globally, often being the number one in your niche will be enough.
2. How can I prove that my skill in my particular field has been recognized?
This can be challenging, as many employees could have exceptional ability but have not had the opportunity to achieve special recognition in their current role or level.
There are many things we can help you do to establish this recognition. These may include: national or international awards, membership of a league or organizations, media exposure, articles you have written, high salary, or other ways you can prove unique contributions to your field, judging the work of others, patents, etc. (You should hit at least 3 of these.)
3. Is it possible to run my own company under an O-1 visa?
Yes, you can work for one company, or you can work for multiple employers or income streams, which can include your own.
With an agent-based petition, you can also work for a foreign employer within the U.S. We have helped people to get thousands of such visas.
4. Can I simply show letters of recommendation from important individuals?
No, this will not be sufficient to prove exceptional ability on its own. Many requests for evidence or denials we have been shown fall down for this reason. You need solid, primary evidence, not just word of mouth.
Secondary or tertiary evidence can play a role, however. Watch the video for more details.
5. What are some examples of evidence that is insufficient?
If USCIS have cause to believe that you have exaggerated or inflated one piece of evidence, they will pull on that thread and could cause the entire case to unravel. One piece of shaky evidence could undermine your whole argument.
Examples include: exposure in local press; organizations that only require a payment for membership; student awards; regional or company awards.
To find out more, get a free strategy session with one of our attorneys. We will be pleased to help answer your questions.