USCIS Updates Guidance for O-1 Petitions

USCIS Updates Guidance for O-1 Petitions


An O-1 visa is a visa for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in the film industry. 

This visa allows a person to live and work in the United States for up to three years and does not offer a road to a green card. It also allows recipients to extend their stay if they need to do so in order to continue or complete the same event or activity they initially applied for. Spouses and children under the age of 21 may accompany the recipient on an O-3 nonimmigrant visa. 

An O-1A visa also requires you to have a job offer, just like an H-1B work visa does. However, it allows employers to bypass the H-1B registration window. O-1 visas also have no numerical limit on the number of visas that may be awarded.

On July 22, 2022, USCIS updated its guidance and policy manual to provide a list of additional evidence that can be used to support this petition. If you are in the STEM field, you can now provide evidence that you were named as an investigator, scientist, or researcher on a competitively funded U.S. government grant or stipend for Stem research. 

You may also still:

  • Prove you received a major internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize.
  • Prove you received nationally or internationally recognized awards.
  • Be a member in an organization that requires outstanding achievement in order to join.
  • Provide published materials that showcase you or your achievements in a major professional or trade publication.
  • Show that you have been placed in a position of judgment over the work of others. 
  • Demonstrate that you created an original scientific or scholarly work of major significance in the field.
  • Authored a scholarly work.
  • Can demonstrate you were employed in a critical or essential capacity at an organization with a distinguished reputation.
  • Can show that you commanded or will command a high salary in relation to others in the field. 

President Biden made this change in the hopes that he might attract more luminaries of the STEM fields to the United States. 

Is your O-1A visa petition strong enough? Would another visa petition be more suitable for your goals?

Our law office can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

See also:

How to Get a Work Visa in the United States

Is a Work Visa a Path to a Green Card? 

Why an Immigration Attorney is Your Best Bet 

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