A Harvard-educated researcher from India and a burlesque dancer from Canada are just two examples of individuals who have qualified for U.S. permanent residence based on their extraordinary abilities. Anju Singh, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, qualified for the visa based on her groundbreaking work with stem cells. Bettina May showed her achievements as a dancer with tapes of television appearances, box-office receipts and reference letters.
The extraordinary ability, or O-1, visa is available to foreigners who have achieved the highest levels of success in their fields. The O-1A visa is for individuals in science, education, business and athletics. The O-1B visa is for artists and actors.
Because the O-1 visa is limited to only the most talented individuals, proving your achievements can be difficult. Possible evidence of extraordinary ability includes:
- Receipt or nomination for a nationally or internationally recognized awards, such as a Nobel Prize, Academy Award, Grammy or Emmy
- Membership in an association limited to those with outstanding achievements in the field
- Published articles, new stories or reviews about your successes
- Employment in a critical position in a prominent organization or performance of a lead role in a distinguished production
- Record of commercial success
- Achievement of a high salary
Depending upon your field, the type of evidence that will be most persuasive varies. But because the standards for receiving the visa are extremely high, it is helpful to have a lot of evidence. The Law Office of Maud Poudat, P.A. is an Orlando-based immigration law firm, and we have handled numerous petitions for extraordinary ability visas. Contact our offices if you have questions about applying for a U.S. visa based on your unique talents.