The greater Seattle area, incorporating cities such as Bellevue, Redmond, and Everett, is a center for scientific and artistic talent. Companies both large and small employ individuals from across the world in various scientific and artistic capacities. The most common visa for this type of employment is the H-1B. Oftentimes, however, businesses and organizations seek to employ talented individuals from overseas on a short-term basis. The O-1 visa is one way that these individuals find themselves working in the Seattle area. The O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows individuals of extraordinary ability or achievement to work in the U.S. for up to three years. Common professions for which the O-1 visa is used include but are not limited to:
- Teachers & Educators
- Stage Managers and Directors
- Audio Engineers & Composers
To be granted an O-1 visa, both the petitioning employer and the beneficiary must overcome rigorous regulatory standards. The petitioning employer must write a detailed company support letter which lays out the legal standard for granting the O-1 visa, and why the beneficiary meets this standard. The Seattle immigration lawyers at Genesis Law Firm, PLLC work with the petitioning employer to ensure that this company support letter is sufficient. Typically the company support letters we submit are 7-10 pages in length.
Another requirement for the O-1 visa is an Advisory Opinion from a peer group, management organization, or labor organization. The petitioning employer must consult with and obtain a letter from one of these organizations affiliated with the petitioner’s profession. For example, if the petitioner is television producer, the Advisory Opinion should come from The Producer’s Guild of America, based in Beverly Hills, California. The only instances in which an Advisory Opinion is not required for an initial O-1 visa petition are when: (1) the petitioning employer is requesting premium processing; (2) the petitioning employer can establish that an appropriate consulting organization does not exist; or (3) a consultation has taken place in the previous two years on a previous O-1 visa for the same event or service.
These are just some of the technical requirements needed for the O-1 visa petition. For more detailed information, please speak to one of our Seattle immigration attorneys.