Learn all about the requirements, application process, benefits and the path to a Green Card for the O-1B visa, granted to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional talent or achievements in the arts or in the film and television industry!

The main topics to be covered in this article:

What is an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

The O-1B visa is anon-immigrant work visa granted to individuals with exceptional talent or achievements in the arts (music, film, theater, visual arts, etc.) or the motion picture and television industry . Applicants for the O-1B visa must be coming to the United States to work in their field of talent.

Who can apply for an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

The O-1B visa can be applied for by persons who have extraordinary talent or achievements in the arts or in the motion picture and television industry and who can provide concrete evidence of this. 

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What are the requirements for an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

How to get an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

1. STEP 1: Completing Form I-129

First, the US citizen employer or agent must be authorized by the "I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker" form must be completed and submitted to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The form can be physically completed and mailed to the USCIS office in a package with the required documents.

STEP 2: Apply for O-1B Visa

If the I-129 form is approved, the approved form is sent to the US consulate where you live. At this stage, you will be informed that you can continue with your application. After receiving this notification, you can apply online "DS-160" You can apply for your visa by filling out the form.

STEP 3 Interview

After submitting your O-1B visa application with the DS-160 form, you will receive an interview date from the same page at the end of the application. We recommend that you collect the necessary documents until the interview date. The questions to be asked in the interview may be related to the information you filled in the form, or they may be related to your work and experience.

STEP 4 Application Result

If your interview is successfully completed and the consular officers decide that you are eligible for a visa, your O-1B visa will be printed on the passport and sent to your address. You may receive an acceptance immediately after the interview or you may receive an email later on informing you that your visa has been approved.

How long does it take to apply for an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

If you are applying for the visa through the US Consulate, the time varies depending on the processing speed of the consulates in your country. The US consulate in Istanbul finalizes O-1B visa applications in approximately 2-3 months.

IMPORTANT: Although approximate times are given, we would like to point out that these times may vary considerably from time to time.

What is the validity period of the O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

An O-1B visa can be obtained for up to 3 years. In addition, extensions of up to 1 year can be made for the completion of the event or activity you are attending in the US.

Working in the US on an O-1B extraordinary ability visa

The visa holder may only engage in the activity or activities for which the visa was issued. In other words, they cannot do jobs that will provide extra income: UBER, Amazon package delivery, cashiering, etc.

Can family members travel to the US on an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of the O-1B visa holder can also live in the United States by obtaining an O-3 visa. The spouse of the visa holder cannot legally work in the US. However, both spouse and children can study in the US.

 

What are the documents required for an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

Although the documents required for an O-1B visa vary from person to person, they are generally as follows:

NOTE: Some of these documents must be submitted with the I-129 form, while some of them you are expected to bring with you to the interview. You can submit the documents in stages according to the instructions you will receive when you apply. For this reason, we recommend that you collect all documents completely before applying.

In the documents lack of availabilitymay cause your visa application to be delayed or even rejected. Therefore, to increase the chances of your visa application being approved, contact ALO and we will collect your documents on your behalf!

What is the O-1B extraordinary ability visa application fee?

The total amount you have to pay for the O-1B visa application, as of 2023, $205is.

  • Visa application fee with DS-160: 205$
  • I-129 form fee: $460 (Paid by employer or agency.)

What are the advantages of the O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

Do you want to find out if you are eligible for an O-1B visa?

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Important tips on the O-1B extraordinary ability visa

Are there any education or language requirements for the O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

There are no educational requirements such as high school, bachelor's, master's or language requirements for the O-1B visa. It is sufficient to meet the criteria in the field of extraordinary ability and provide concrete evidence of this.

Can I get a Green Card with an O-1B extraordinary ability visa?

The O-1B visa is a "dual intent" visa. This means that even though it is a non-immigrant visa, it allows you to convert your O-1B visa into a Green Card from within the US. If you meet the requirements, you can get an EB-1 or EB-2 NIW Green Card. Apart from that, you can get a Green CardYou can get a Green Card by winning a lottery, marrying a US citizen/Green Card holder, or getting a job in the US. OYou can visit our article on the Green Card based on extraordinary ability.

How many people are granted an O-1 extraordinary ability visa?

The O1 extraordinary ability visa is not subject to a quota, in other words, there is no limit to the number of visas issued per year. Therefore, the number of visas issued each year varies.

For example, in fiscal year 2022* (fiscal year), the O1 visa 19,855 people applied for an O1 visa. 19,102 people obtained an O1 visa, 753 person's application was rejected. In the same fiscal year, 150 Turkish nationals were issued O1 visas.

* October 2021-September 2023

In fiscal year 2021**, the O1 visa 7,933 people have applied. 7,294 when a person gets an O1 visa, 639 the application of one person was rejected. In the same fiscal year, 82 Turkish nationals were issued O1 visas.

** October 2020- September 2021

 

NOTE: O-1 visa includes O-1A and O-1B categories.

Yes, at the end of the three-year period, your employer can request an extension from USCIS by submitting an I-129 form, a copy of your I-94 form (your record of entry into the United States), an affidavit explaining the reason for your extension request. With this application, you can extend your stay for up to 1 year. The spouse and children of the O-1B visa holder must apply for an extension of stay with form I-539.

No, you can only work at events or activities authorized by your visa. You cannot work in an activity other than the program you submitted to USCIS during your visa application.

The O-1A visa is for people with extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business and sports, while the O-1B visa is for people with extraordinary ability in the arts, cinema and television. You can find our detailed article about the O-1A visa here.

Yes, you can. If you entered the U.S. on a temporary visa such as a B-1/B-2 tourist visa, you can apply for a Change of Status with form I-539 and get an O-1B visa. 

The O-1A visa is a "dual intent" visa. This means that although it is a non-immigrant visa, it allows you to convert your O-1A visa into a Green Card from within the US. You can get a Green Card by winning the lottery, marrying an American citizen/Green Card holder or getting a job in the US.

Yes, you can change. If your agency filled out the I-129 form during your visa application, the new employer must submit a petition and proof of the change. However, if your employer in the US filled out the I-129 form, your new employer must fill out the I-129 form again.

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