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Temporary Visas > O Visa

O-1 VISA

(Alien of Extraordinary Ability)

For highly skilled and accomplished physicians and scientists with job offers at medical or scientific research institutions, hospitals, and other organizations requiring the services of a highly skilled individual, the O-1 visa is an option to be seriously considered. This is often the visa of choice for extraordinarily talented individuals with a distinguished record of accomplishments who would like to work in the U.S. for a period of limited duration, as the O-1 visa is not subject to numerical limits or time duration. Moreover, O-1 visa holders may qualify for fast-track Green Card processing.

Frequently Asked Questions about the O-1 Visa Category

1. What is an O-1 visa?

2. Is a U.S. job offer required?

3. Can I obtain an O-1 as a medical fellow?

4. What is the time frame for O-1 visa applications? What documents are required?

5. What is the validity period for an O-1 visa?

6. What is the most common mistake?

7. I am on a J-1 visa and am subject to the two-year home residency requirement -- can I convert to O-1 visa?

8. How do I proceed further? What are my chances for approval?

9. How can MDgreencard.com assist me with this petition?

10. What is your guarantee?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. What is an O-1 visa?

The O-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows certain individuals to work temporarily in the United States. People coming on O-1 Visas include extraordinarily talented and nationally or internationally known physicians, scientists, educators, artists, athletes or business people. These individuals must have "extraordinary ability" in their field of expertise. Such ability must be extensively documented and substantiated through articles published, awards won, media attention received, association with other renowned experts in the same field, and/or innovation or major contributions in the specific field of expertise among other forms of proof. National and/or international acclaim of the individual is important in establishing extraordinary ability.

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2. Is a U.S. Job offered required?

Yes. An individual seeking an O-1 Visa must have a sponsor (job offer in the U.S.). Typical sponsors for physicians and scientists include: private or U.S. governmental research organizations, hospitals, high-tech companies, and private medical practices.

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3. Can I obtain an O-1 as a medical fellow?

Usually yes. Although the most common visa for medical fellows is the H-1B or J-1 visa, it is often possible to convert visa status to O-1 should your six-year time limit on H-1B be expiring or should you desire to accept a fellowship position following your stay in the U.S. as a J-1 visa holder. However, to have a reasonable chance of success, you must have an strong record of prior accomplishments in the field, including published articles and awards.

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4. What is the time frame for O-1 visa applications? What documents are required?

O-1 applications usually take between 1-4 months for approval.

Individuals applying for an O-1 Visa must provide substantial documentation demonstrating that they truly are extraordinary in their area of expertise. Individuals seeking this visa must have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor and are considered to be in the top echelon. The employer must demonstrate the beneficiary's extraordinary ability along with the need for the individual's services. Evidence of extraordinary ability typically include the following:

  • receipt of prizes/awards at national/international level by the beneficiary in field of expertise;

  • membership in associations that have selective criteria relevant to the field of expertise;

  • published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the individual;

  • judging the work of others in the same field, such as peer review, judging a competition etc.;

  • innovations or original contributions of major significance in the field of expertise;

  • authorship of articles in professional journals or other major media; and /or

  • employment in an essential capacity in organizations with a distinguished reputation.

Please note that it is not necessary to have documentation corresponding to all of the above - evidence in only three of the above categories is usually necessary.

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5. What is the validity period of an O-1 visa?

O-1 visas are granted initially for up to three years, and are renewable for additional one-year increments.

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6. What is the most common mistake?

Not considering an O-1 visa. Since it is not subject to numerical limitations or length of stay restrictions, the O-1 visa is an excellent choice for many highly accomplished physicians and scientists.

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7. I am on a J-1 visa and am subject to the two-year home residency requirement-- can I convert to O-1 visa?

Yes, usually. It is possible to convert from J-1 to O-1, even though you may be subject to the two-year home residency requirement, so long as you obtain visa stamping from a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.

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8. How do I proceed further? What are my chances for approval?

Send/fax/e-mail to us a copy of your CV and job offer letter or evidence of a job offer in the U.S. Once we review your credentials, we will let you know your chances for success. For cases accepted for processing at our office, our success rate has been over 90%.

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9. How can MDgreencard.com assist me with this petition?

We assist you and your employer in formulating and preparing the necessary paperwork. Since physicians and scientists are our only business, we have developed special expertise in this area. We have developed templates for reference letters and other important aspects of the application.

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10. What is your guarantee?

We guarantee that your case will be prepared according to our expert standards.

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MDgreencard.com is the official physician and scientist immigration web site of the:

Sherman Immigration Lawyers, P.C.
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