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The O visa program

There are various nonimmigrant visa programs here in the United States. A nonimmigrant visa authorizes a person from another country to temporarily stay in the U.S. for a particular purpose. Today’s post will be focused on one nonimmigrant visa program in particular: the O visa program.

O visas cover temporary stays in the U.S. by individuals with extraordinary ability and certain individuals connected to them. There are multiple types of such visas.

We’ll start with O-1 visas. These are visas for individuals with extraordinary ability in certain fields who desire to temporally stay in the U.S. in connection to work in their field. There are two main classes of O-1 visa: O-1A and O-1B. The two different classes cover different fields. O-1A visas cover qualified individuals in the athletic, business, education and science fields. O-1B visas, meanwhile, cover qualified individuals in the arts and the television/film industry.

The other O visas cover certain individuals connected to individuals with extraordinary ability. O-2 visas are for workers who are coming to the U.S. to provide essential assistance to the work of an O-1 visa holder. O-3 visas, meanwhile, allow certain relatives of O-1 and O-2 visa holders to accompany their family member in their temporary stay in America.

Each type of O visa has its own rules and issues connected to it. So, when a foreign national with extraordinary achievement/ability is planning to perform a work endeavor in their field here in the U.S., a variety of different O-visa-related matters could come up for them and those connected with them. These matters can get quite complex, and how they are addressed can have major implications regarding the immigration goals of the person seeking such a visa. Immigration lawyers can help individuals who are pursuing O visas identify the key issues in their immigration matter and give them guidance on these issues.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement,” Accessed May 3, 2017

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