“Extraordinary ability” and O-1 visas

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2021 | immigration law

The immigration laws in the United States are complex and confusing. While that means that they can be challenging to navigate, it also means that you or your loved one may fail to obtain the status and protection sought simply due to misunderstanding. That’s why it’s often best to address immigration issues with the help of an experienced attorney. One area where that’s assistance can prove powerful is when seeking an O-1 or O-2 visa.

The basics of O-1 and O-2 visas

O-1 and O-2 visas focus on granting nonimmigrant status to those who possess extraordinary abilities and achievements in certain fields, primarily those pertaining to business, science, education, art, and athletics. But what does “extraordinary ability” mean? Generally speaking, one demonstrates extraordinary ability by showing that he or she is at the top of his or her field of profession. The burden is on the person seeking this visa to show extraordinary ability, though, which should be accomplished by submitting documentation for labor unions and others in the field attesting to the petitioner’s abilities.

O-2 visas provide nonimmigrant status to those who support individuals with extraordinary abilities. To obtain this kind of visa, a petitioner must show that he or she possesses the critical skills that are necessary to support the individual seeking an O-1 visa. Showing experience and a working relationship with the O-1 petitioner can be helpful, too. Again, an individual seeking an O-2 visa will need to have attestations from others to present evidence of their skills and necessity.

Navigate the immigration process with confidence

“Extraordinary ability” isn’t clearly defined under the immigration laws, which leaves the door open for individuals to argue why they should be granted a visa. But this area, just like other sections of immigration law, requires extensive legal know-how and experience. That’s why if you or a loved one are facing immigration legal issues then it might be best to discuss them with an attorney who knows how to navigate the process. Perhaps then you or your loved one can achieve the favorable outcome desired.