Artists and entertainers with extraordinary skills, exceptional talents, and abilities from around the world have been coming to the United States to represent their countries and act as ambassadors of their chosen field of specialty. This makes the United States the top destination for the cultural exchange of traditions and ideas. Various visa options are available for welcoming these artists and entertainers, as well as their employers and/or agents.
ADVANTAGES OF AN O-VISA
An O-Visa brings many advantages to its beneficiary. Unlike any other VISA options with limited privileges, with an O-Visa:
• You can live and work or accept employment in institutions that require people of extraordinary ability.
• Your dependents can stay with you and attend school if you maintain your O1 status.
• You are not limited to travel in and out of the U.S. for as long as your VISA is valid.
The O-Visa classification is divided in different categories depending on the type of ability and work to perform.
O-1 VISA for INDIVIDUALS OF EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY OR ACHIEVEMENT
The O1 visa in general is a nonimmigrant visa granted to those who exhibit exceptional ability in the field of sciences, arts, business, education, and athletics. These also include those who have manifested extraordinary achievements in the television industry. The high-level distinction of these individuals should be evidenced by recognition or degree that is significantly above that of the ordinary.
For individuals in the field of sciences, business, athletics, or education can apply for the O-1A Visa. The O-1B visa however is intended for individuals that exhibit exceptional skills and distinction in the arts, motion picture or television industry.
O-2 VISA for ESSENTIAL SUPPORT PERSONNEL OF O1 VISA HOLDERS
The O-2 visa is granted to individuals who will officially accompany an O-1 artist or athlete to assist the O-1 visa holder in a specific event or performance. They can be coaches, agents, or official representatives. The O-3 visa is intended for the spouse/legal partners and unmarried minor children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.
WHO CAN FACILITATE THE APPLICATION
To begin the process of O-VISA application, your U.S employer or agent should file the petition on your behalf, Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The application should strictly include the documents laid out below.
· Endorsement letter from an expert in your field. It can be from an organization or a group that is significant to your area of expertise.
· A written contract that summarizes the employment agreement and a document explaining the events and activities that will be participated in. Details should include start and end dates as well as specific places of events.
· Certification of awards and achievement or any proof of published works significant to your field. Proof of membership to any highly distinguished organization or association relevant to your field.
Beneficiaries are required to appear personally for an appointment and interview. The following requirements should be handy when attending the personal appearance interview.
• A valid passport, six months after you intend to depart the United States.
• Printed DS-160 Form Confirmation Page.
• Interview Appointment Letter
• The I-797 Approval Notice from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
• Receipt or Proof of Payment of Machine Readable Visa (MRC) fee.
• Photos of yourself that follow the guidelines set by the US Department of State.
US VISA PHOTO REQUIREMENTS
• The US visa photo size should be 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
• Taken within the last 6 months
• In color.
• Strictly no shadows.
• Plain white background.
• You must face the camera in the photo and have both eyes open
• Have a neutral expression
• Without any worn electronic devices
• Not wearing eyeglasses unless medically advised
Note that failure to comply with any of the requirements stated by the Embassy and the United States immigration can result in the denial of your application. It is advisable to consult with the experts like immigration attorneys and get an analysis of your personal eligibility before taking any actions further.