O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement: How to Apply For It

O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement: How to Apply For It

iVisa | Updated on Sep 29, 2021

O visas are for foreign citizens that wish to enter the U.S. under exceptional abilities or achievements, across industries. The O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement is also extended for people traveling with a person of extraordinary ability. Learn more about this type of visa below.

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What is the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement?

The O Visa is a non-resident U.S. visa for foreign citizens who prove extraordinary ability in their field. This field can be arts, business, science, or education.

Only certain citizens can apply for this visa as it has several requirements. To see the requirements needed, the price, and how to apply, we suggest you read the following lines.

Who is eligible for the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement?

The O visa covers different fields for applicants, including sciences, athletics, business, and arts. Regardless of the field, the applicant has to prove 3 of at least 10 of the following requirements:

  • The applicant has received national or international awards or prizes in their field.
  • The applicant is a member of associations whose membership requires an extraordinary achievement.
  • The applicant’s work has been published in professional or high-profile trade publications.
  • The applicant has worked as a judge of others in the same field.
  • The applicant has had articles published in professional trade publications.
  • The applicant has made original scientific, academic, or business contributions in their field (these contributions must have major significance).
  • The applicant has served in a leading or critical role for a highly recognized organization.
  • The applicant has a high salary for the services offered.
  • The applicant has other exceptional expertise that does not fit any of the mentioned before.

All About the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement

How much does it cost to apply for the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement?

The price for this visa tends to be a bit expensive because you need an agent or petitioner and this petitioner must pay some fees to get the process started. To help you with this, we are charging below the fees you have to pay to get the O Visa:

  • Form I-129 fee: $460 - This form is what petitioners use to tell the USCIS why the O-1 visa beneficiary is eligible to stay and work in the U.S.
  • DS-160 fee: $190: One of the most important forms to start your process.

Do not forget that, there are other costs to consider, such as an attorney (if necessary) or even paying for a form if you lose it. The price of legal counsel services for O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement applications are typically around $5,000.

How long does it take to process my O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement?

The process to obtain an O Visa is time-consuming, which is why an attorney can be helpful. However, it is not mandatory depending on certain cases. We can give you an approximate of how much time you could spend processing this visa and getting it ready to enter the U.S.

Getting the documentation ready, searching for attorneys, and waiting for the interview at the embassy is always the hardest part and it can take several months. This part of the processing time can take from 5 to 8 months depending on personal circumstances (the country you are living in, which documents you need, etc.).

Another thing to add is waiting for approval, which can take from 2 to even 4 months.

Please notice that we are giving this average for most embassies and normal conditions, but with things like a pandemic (for example, the COVID-19 pandemic), a heavy workload at your nearest U.S. embassy, and more, you could end up waiting even 10 months to get an interview.

Therefore, you could wait at least one to two years minimum to get this visa approved. Nevertheless, there are options to speed up the process, like paying USCIS USD2,500 for a premium processing to get a fast answer related to your visa approval. But, be aware that this premium processing does not guarantee your visa approval, only to notify you as fast as possible (within 15 days) if your visa was denied or approved.

Can I apply for the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement online?

Similar to other visas, the initial process to get an O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement is completely online, as it is based on filling in certain forms like Form DS-160 and Form I-129 (by your petitioner).

Be aware that to get this visa approved you have to schedule and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate, which is why we cannot say that the entire process can be done online, only part of it.

How do I submit the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement?

Submitting the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement requires patience because it is a process divided into several steps. Here is what you have to do:

  • Step One: The employer or agent must read the instructions for Form I-129 to fill it out successfully and pay the filing fee. The agent also has to offer supporting documentation about your case.
  • Step Two: On your side, you have to file Form DS-160 and pay the O1 visa fees.
  • Step Three: You have to schedule an interview at the embassy and prepare the documentation required.
  • Step Four: You attend the interview and wait for the embassy or consulate answer and you are done!

What are the required documents?

To apply for the O Visa successfully, you must have the following documents:

  • A printed consultation from someone with expertise in your field.
  • A copy of the written work contract (if necessary).
  • A document explaining the activities and events you will participate in (if necessary).
  • Valid proof of your extraordinary abilities or achievements.
  • Your valid passport.
  • The DS-160 Form Confirmation Page.
  • Your Interview Appointment Letter.
  • A professional picture of yourself (2x2).
  • The I-797 Approval Notification from the USCIS.
  • Receipts of having paid the fees.

Tips for Filling out the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement:

This visa is probably one of the most difficult to achieve, but the process can get easier if you consider these tips:

  • Remember to get all the documentation ready for your interview. Take the originals with you, copies will not be considered.
  • The O Visa is valid for three years, but it can be renewed. Remember to stay alert to the validity of your visa so that you do not end up with an illegal status.
  • Documents printed in another language that is not the main language in which the application takes place must be translated.

How does applying with iVisa.com work?

Applying for your documents with iVisa.com is very reliable because we are a professional visa provider that has been running this business for many years. Additionally, we always provide professional guidance to our clients, even if we do not offer the visa yet (just like this case, as we do not offer the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement yet). Our services include:

  • Application forms with easy-to-understand language. All of our forms make complicated government language easy to understand.
  • Team of agents and professionals ready to evaluate your documents. We’ll evaluate your entire application to make sure it is error-free.
  • 100% perfect photos. Use our photo service to get exactly the right photo, all from the comfort of your home. All you have to do is to take a selfie and our experts will ensure it meets the correct requirements for your visa type.
  • Acknowledge guidance every step of the way. Our 24/7 customer service crew is always available to help you on your application journey.

Do not forget that we do not provide an online process to get the O Visa yet, but we might do it in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my family with me?

Yes, you can bring your family with you to the US if you have an O1 or O2 visa. But, it is valid only for your spouse or child under the age of 21.

Is it safe to use iVisa.com to apply for the O Visa?

Please notice that we do not offer the O Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability/Achievement yet but we highly recommend you to stay alert to our webpage as we might help you get this document in the future. Also, do not forget that our services are reliable thanks to our automated system. Besides, we have an excellent team ready to help you process your documents easier.

Where can I read more information?

Traveling to the U.S. is not impossible, but we know that applying for a visa can be tedious, which is why at iVisa.com we are ready to assist you to resolve your doubts about it. Soon enough will be able to help you get the O Visa more easily, but by now, feel free to contact our customer service center for more help about this document or other travel documents you are planning to get.