Attaining an O-Visa as a Legal Professional

Did you know that if you are an attorney in your home country, you might be able to obtain an O-Visa if you meet certain criteria? If you are an attorney and you can demonstrate extraordinary ability in your field of practice, you can potentially qualify for an O-1A Visa. Read on to find out more!

Is there a category of O-Visas that is specific for attorneys?

Generally, an O-1A Visa can be obtained for extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, education, business, or athletics, while an O-1B Visa can be obtained for the arts, motion picture, or television industry. So which category is for attorneys?

There is no separate or specific category of O-Visas for attorneys. Rather, attorneys seeking an O-Visa must determine what category their career and practice area makes them the best fit for. Generally, most attorneys will qualify under an O-1A visa but the specific field may not be directly obvious. For example, some corporate attorneys may fit best under the field of business, while another attorney may qualify under the field of education if they teach, are published, and can establish their work falls within that field. It’s important to consult with an experienced O-Visa attorney to determine what category is best suited for you!

How do you demonstrate extraordinary ability for an O-Visa?

To obtain an O-1A Visa you need to show that you have reached the top of your field either in the U.S., internationally, or in your home country. You can establish this by either showing a one-time accomplishment, such a Nobel prize, Oscar, or Grammy Award, that demonstrates extraordinary ability or evidence showing you fit into a combination of at least three of the following eight categories of eligibility:

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in your field;
  • Documentation of your membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts;
  • Published material in professional publications or major media about you;
  • Evidence of your participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field;
  • Evidence of your original contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media;
  • Evidence that you have been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation; or
  • Evidence that you have commanded and now command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

Partner with an O-Visa Lawyer

If you are an attorney who meets at least three of the criteria for extraordinary ability and would be interested in applying for an O-Visa, please contact us for an assessment and for help building your case. We can assess your background, accomplishments, law practice area, and more to ensure that you have the strongest possible case for an O-Visa.


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