ContractsCounsel Logo
Home Blog O1 Visa Application

O1 Visa Application

Jump to Section

The O1 visa application is a process that enables people with excellent proficiency in arts and other subjects to apply for an O1 visa and work in the US. The O1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa category available for a person with extraordinary ability in the areas of arts, science, education, business, or athletics who wish to work in their respective fields within the United States. The O1 visa, though, is hardly issued unless one has proven his skills.

Steps for O1 Visa Application

  1. Establish Eligibility. Establish whether you meet the eligibility requirements set for the O1 visa category. This includes exceptional ability in the field of arts, sciences, education, business or athletics.
  2. Find a Sponsor. Find an American sponsor or employer that is willing to sponsor your application for an O1 visa.
  3. Obtain a Consultation Letter. Request a consultation letter from your peer group or labor organization showing your extraordinary abilities.
  4. Gather Documents. Obtain all necessary documents for your O1 visa application, such as evidence of your superior abilities, such as awards and publications.
  5. Fill Out Form I-129. Complete Form I-129—Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker—and send it along with all required documentation and filing fees to USCIS.
  6. Wait for Approval. Wait until USCIS approves your petition, which may take several weeks or even months, so be ready to wait a potentially long period.
  7. Arrange a Visa Interview. Schedule a visa interview at any US embassy or consulate located in your home country once your petition is approved.
  8. Be Present at the Visa Interview. Attend a personal interview on Visa matters and carry out all formalities there, including passport, Visa Application form, and any documentation proving one’s exceptional expertise in their area of expertise.
  9. Wait for Visa Issuance. Await issuance of an O-I visa by the U.S. embassy/consulate allowing you entry into the US as well as working under this sponsoring employer at that specific professional level.

Importantly, one should note that the O1 visa application process may become complex and time-consuming. Hence, it is prudent to engage the services of an immigration attorney well-versed in immigration law who can give you adequate guidance on how to proceed.

Tips for a Successful O1 Visa Application

  • Commence Early. The process of filing an O1 visa application may take several months; therefore, it is essential to initiate the application as early as possible to enable sufficient time to prepare all necessary documentation.
  • Understand Eligibility Criteria. Carefully study the eligibility criteria for the O1 visa so that you can make sure that you can provide evidence showing your extraordinary ability in your field.
  • Choose Experienced Sponsor. Have a US employer or sponsor know O1 visa protocol since they will have what it takes through the provision of documents and any other information required in your application.
  • Collect Strong Proof. Accumulate valid evidence supporting your claim for an O1 visa, which includes awards won, publications made, or even media coverage received. The more one can produce evidence, the greater the chances of success.
  • Be Organized. Throughout its submission stages, orderliness must run through from the organization of personal papers to any required evidence until everything is delivered in proper sequence.
  • Get Ready for the Visa Interviewing Process. Prepare yourself with answers that are detailed enough regarding your experience, achievements, and projected assignments in the United States during interviews concerning visas.
  • Hire an Immigration Attorney if Needed. One may also decide to involve an experienced immigration lawyer who can guide them through all the processes involved when applying for an O1 visa.

To successfully apply for an O1 visa, you must be prepared, organized, and have compelling evidence of your outstanding abilities in your area of expertise.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Kelvin R.

24 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Linda W.

10 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Valerie L.

77 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Damien B.

16 projects on CC
CC verified
View Profile

Key Terms for O1 Visa Application

  • Superior Ability: Exceptional ability refers to a high level of skills in arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics. Extraordinarily skilled people are eligible for the O1 category.
  • U.S. Sponsor: A U.S. sponsor/employer is an employer/organization based in the US that is willing to offer sponsorship to an O1 visa candidate.
  • Letter of Consultation: A letter of consultation from a trade union or labor organization within the applicant’s field confirms extraordinary ability.
  • I-129 Form: The I-129 form initiates the O1 visa process by being filled out and submitted to USCIS.
  • USCIS: The institution that deals with all matters concerning O1 visa applications from USCIS
  • Visa Interview: This involves a face-to-face meeting with an official at the US Embassy or consulate once the O1 visa petition has been approved
  • Length of Stay: An initial authorization period may last up to three years but can be extended if necessary for someone holding an O1 visa
  • Change of Employee: However, the holder of this type of visa can change employers while still staying in America, provided they obtain permission from USCIS and go through proper procedures.

Final Thoughts on O1 Visa Application

The United States offers a highly valuable opportunity for individuals with superior talent in their respective fields due largely to its possession of a large amount of diversity. It can take time and be complicated. Nevertheless, garnering such documents as certifications backed up by detailed planning will enable one to get that passport needed so much as well as embrace professional opportunities residing within the United States.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, Click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Fabian G. on ContractsCounsel
View Fabian
4.5 (2)
Member Since:
May 9, 2023

Fabian G.

Managing Attorney at Apex Legal Solutions PLLC
Free Consultation
Miami, Florida
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
University of Miami School of Law

Fabian graduated with honors from the University of Miami School of law, where he served as the articles and comments editor for the law school's Race and Social Justice Law Review. He received the John F. Evans Memorial Scholarship Award for excellence in the university's Litigation Skills Program and the HOPE Pro Bono award for completing more than one hundred (100) pro bono hours. Additionally, he received the CALI Excellence for the future award in Sports Law. He focuses his practice on corporate, real estate and immigration matters. Fabian has experience representing luxury hotel owners and operators in connection with the drafting of hotel management agreements, restaurant license agreements, and complex restaurant leases for domestic and international projects including: Nobu Tulum, Nobu Punta Cana, Nobu Orlando, Nobu Chicago and the Nickelodeon Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico, among others. He has represented clients in the commercial real estate industry in connection with the drafting of purchase and sale agreements, promissory notes, and mortgages. Lastly, Fabian routinely counsels corporate clients in connection with the drafting of articles of organization, operating agreements, and other documents related to acquisitions, restructurings and investments.

Karl D. S. on ContractsCounsel
View Karl D.
4.7 (2)
Member Since:
October 28, 2022

Karl D. S.

Free Consultation
Middlebury, Connecticut
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CT, MA
Pepperdine University School of Law

Karl D. Shehu, has a multidisciplinary practice encompassing small business law, estate and legacy planning, real estate law, and litigation. Attorney Shehu has assisted families, physicians, professionals, and people of faith provide for their loved ones by crafting individualized estate and legacy plans. Protecting families and safeguarding families is his passion. Attorney Shehu routinely represents lenders, buyers, sellers, and businesses in real estate transactions, researching and resolving title defects, escrowing funds, and drafting lending documents. To date, Attorney Shehu has closed a real estate deal in every town in Connecticut. As a litigator, Attorney Shehu has proven willing to engage in contentious court battles to obtain results for his clients. While practicing at DLA Piper, LLP, in Boston, Attorney Shehu represented the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in multidistrict litigations filed throughout the United States. He has been a passionate advocate for immigrants and the seriously injured, frequently advising against lowball settlement offers. He is willing to try every case to verdict, and he meticulously prepares every case for trial. Attorney Shehu began his legal career as a consumer lawyer, utilizing fee-shifting statutes to force unscrupulous businesses to pay the legal fees of aggrieved consumers. For example, in Access Therapies v. Mendoza, 1:13-cv-01317 (S.D. Ind. 2014), Attorney Shehu utilized unique interpretations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Truth-in-Lending Act, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to obtain a favorable result for his immigrant client. Attorney Shehu is a Waterbury, Connecticut native. He attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel grammar school, The Loomis Chaffee School, and Chase Collegiate School before earning degrees from Boston College, the University of Oxford’s Said Business School in England, and Pepperdine University School of Law. At Oxford, Karl was voted president of his class. Outside of his law practice, Attorney Shehu has worked to improve the world around him by participating in numerous charitable endeavors. He is a former candidate for the Connecticut Senate and a parishioner of St. Patrick Parish and Oratory in Waterbury. In addition, Attorney Shehu has written extensively on the Twenty-fifth Amendment and law firm retention by multinational firms.

Andrew A. on ContractsCounsel
View Andrew
4.8 (8)
Member Since:
June 1, 2023

Andrew A.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Charlotte NC and SF CA
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

I am the Managing Partner of Adams Global Immigration, a Business Immigration Law firm focusing on nonimmigrant visa processing (H-1B, L-1, E-2, E-3, O-1, TN, etc.) and immigrant visa processing (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, PERM, NIW, etc.). I have many years of business immigration experience, including legal work at Jackson and Hertogs, Fragomen, E&M Mayock, and as a Freelance Immigration Specialist. My specialization includes complicated Request for Evidence responses and high-volume nonimmigrant visa preparation. I can provide legal advice regarding employment visa preparation, unique international travel issues, and various other complex immigration matters. Prior to joining Jackson & Hertogs in 2018, I served as a Certified Law Clerk with the San Diego Public Defender office through Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL). In this role, I argued over 40 hearings in state court for criminal juvenile matters, adult misdemeanors, and adult felonies. I subsequently joined the TJSL Removal Defense clinic, wherein I argued and won a full asylum trial in Federal Court for a Moroccan refugee fleeing severe LGBTQ persecution.

Darryl S. on ContractsCounsel
View Darryl
5.0 (25)
Member Since:
November 9, 2023

Darryl S.

Founder and Counselor-at-Law
Free Consultation
31 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
The University of Texas School of Law Austin

I offer flat/fixed fees rather than hourly work to help lower your legal costs and align our interests. I specialize in contract law and focus on making sure your contract is clear, protects your interests and meets your needs. You can expect fast, straightforward communication from me, making sure you understand every step. With my experience, you'll get a detailed review of your contract at a fair, fixed price, without any surprises. I have over 30 years of business and legal experience that I bring to your project. I graduated from The University of Texas School of Law with High Honors in 1993 and practiced at Texas' largest law firm. I have founded companies and so understand how to be helpful as both a lawyer and business owner.

Robert W. on ContractsCounsel
View Robert
Member Since:
November 16, 2023

Robert W.

Registered IP Attorney
Free Consultation
Durham, NC
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC
Campbell University - Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law

I am an experienced Intellectual Property attorney registered with the USPTO and have managed my solo practice for over a decade. As part of my practice, I handle trademark and patent concerns for my clients. I’ve performed extensive prior art searches, drafted patent applications, and prosecuted patents across a broad range of technologies. I've helped my clients secure protection for both standard character and special form marks across a a variety of classes from candles to dog collars. I believe, as an IP attorney, that I can facilitate the development of new technologies by protecting your rights from infringement or helping you enter the market by establishing those rights from the ground up. More importantly, I believe it should be an open and affordable process that’s accessible to anyone pushing the bounds of innovation.

LaKesha S. on ContractsCounsel
View LaKesha
Member Since:
November 11, 2023

LaKesha S.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Montgomery, Alabama
19 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AL
Thomas Goode Jones School of Law

I am LaKesha B. Shahid, managing partner of Shahid & Hosea LLC. We focus primarily in domestic relations. We strive to make our clients our top priority.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Need help with an O-1 Visa?

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

See All Immigration Lawyers
See All O1 Visa Application Lawyers

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city