O Visas

The four types of O visas are specifically designed for those with remarkable talent and/or achievements in their chosen profession.

The Immigration Act of 1990 paved the way for O visas as we know them today. O visas are specifically designed for those with remarkable talent and/or achievements in their chosen profession. There are four types of O visas. They are the O-1A, O-1B, O-2 and O-3 visas. Each has its own criteria for eligibility as well as the length of the stays they allow. Individuals who possess these visas are typically extraordinarily talented in arts, sciences, education as well as business. If you are an individual who has exceptionally achieved at the highest levels within your field internationally, you may be eligible for an O visa.

Those who have maintained a high level of success within television and the motion picture industries are also eligible. Though the process of obtaining O visas is not incredibly difficult in comparison to other visas, it is still fraught with complexities. Petitioning for the wrong type of visa, submitting incorrect information and/or not providing the required documentation can delay the issuance of the visa and subsequently hamper business efforts until it is resolved. Whether you are petitioning on behalf of a beneficiary or you are going through the application process overseas, the attorneys at Florida Immigration Law Counsel are prepared to help you. Give us a call for your initial consultation.

Different Types of O Visas

As previously mentioned, there are four types of O visas. While the application process, fee schedule, and time for approval are roughly the same, who is eligible for each visa is slightly different. Listed below are the most pertinent requirements for each. If you have further questions about your specific circumstances, it is best to connect with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as you can.

  • O-1A: This is designed for people who have exhibited remarkable talent and abilities within the fields of science, education, business or athletics.
  • O-1B: The O-1B visa is similar to the O-1A. However, it is primarily for persons who have shown exemplary talents and abilities in the television and/or motion picture industry.
  • O-2: These are for individuals who are an “integral part” of an O-1A’s activities or “essential” to the production capabilities of an O-1B holder. The holder of this visa is required to have critical skills needed for the primary visa holders success and continued work. Additionally, the work performed cannot be something that is easily performed by a worker in the United States.
  • O-3: O-3 visas are for the significant other and/or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.

How to Apply

O visas require the petitioner to meet notoriously high standards to prove their eligibility. In most cases, you will need a written consultation from a recognized peer group or labor organization that gives credence to the extraordinary abilities and talents of the beneficiary. All petitions for O visas are filed on Form I-129. You are not allowed to file it more than a year before the services of the O visa holder are needed. Additionally, it is recommended that you apply at least 45 days in advance to ensure that you do endure unnecessary delays. You can only petition for one person on each form. Events allowable under the requirements of this visa can include tours, conferences, science-based projects, business projects, lectures, etc. There is typically a lot of confusion about which events are eligible. The entities that can petition for an O visa include U.S. employers, United States agents, or a foreign employer using an agent based in the United States. Self-employed beneficiaries are not allowed to petition on behalf of themselves, but they can use a U.S. agent. Additionally, each O-1 visa requires that evidence of their awards, acclaim, and/or prizes in order to establish eligibility.

What to Expect After You Apply

It takes roughly 15 business days to receive an approval or denial for O visa petitions. Once the petition has been approved, the beneficiary can then apply for their O visa at a U.S. Embassy or consulate office. During the application process, all fees will be expected to be paid. O visas can be active for up to three years. However, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will make the final determination on how much time the visa holder will need to accomplish their duties. The beneficiary is only allowed to work for the petitioning employer during their stay in the U.S. Additionally, they are allowed to enter the country up to 10 days before their visa is valid and can stay for up to 10 days after.

Who We Can Help to Obtain O Visas

Florida Immigration Law Counsel offers a full range of immigration services. Obtaining any type of visa can be confusing and stressful without the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Listed below are the varying types of individuals and entities that we can help in the process.

  • U.S. businesses hiring a foreign national who exhibits remarkable ability and talents within science, art, education, business or athletes.
  • Most types of acclaimed artist and entertainers
  • Those who have received awards and/or prizes for achievements in their respective qualifying field
  • Support staff, children, and spouses of the holders of O visas
  • Foreign nationals who have made outstanding scholarly and academic achievements in science and have been offered to be employed by a company based in the United States.

When to Get an Immigration Attorney

Understanding the eligibility process, proper documentation needed, and the classification you should petition for are all necessary steps in obtaining your O visa in a timely manner. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help to expedite the process and decrease your levels of stress and anxiety while going through the application process. If you are in the process of petitioning on the behalf of an individual or you are one of the extraordinary talents seeking employment in the U.S., our attorneys at Florida Immigration Law Counsel are prepared to help you successfully navigate the O visa process.

Give us a call today for your initial consultation where we will give a full analysis of your eligibility and walk you through the application process.


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Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

Saman Movassaghi makes it her goal to provide you with only the best representation for immigration matters because she believes it’s time for you to live the American dream!