Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram


EB1 Green Cards & O1 Visas for Top Professionals

Emigrating to America is the aim for many people seeking their dream lifestyle. The o visa process is often the first step on the ladder to getting a green card with permanent residency the ultimate goal. An o-1 visa provides temporary working status but it’s only available to highly talented people. American immigration refers to these individuals as aliens of extraordinary ability. In essence, you need to be at the top of your field.  If you are a top professional in the world of entertainment or business then we can help you secure an EB1 Green Card for Permanent Residency or an O1 Visa for short to long term US assignments. Call or complete our inquiry questionnaire and we’ll set up a free consultation.

Entertainment Professionals
EB1 Green Cards, O1 Visas & P Visas


What You’ll Find On This Site

As well as a wealth of information for you to read we also have many informative videos to help you understand the application process. Our narrated videos are easy to understand and follow. We also have a host of successful visa approval videos that show many past clients.

Client Success Videos

 In these videos, you will hear from our clients as they tell their own story. They share their backgrounds, their reasons for making this life changing decision as well as the challenges they faced. We decided to produce this series of visa success stories to help you to get a more rounded understanding of the process. If you need some inspiration or are unsure if you meet the required criteria, watch some of the videos and you will see that we fight very hard for our clients. Don’t under estimate your chances of making the move to the US. Make use of our free consultation and we’ll give you an honest opinion on your chances of success. If you are unsure if you meet the green card requirements or need us to explain NIW, O1 visa or EB1 green card process to you just call us and we’ll be happy to guide you through your options.

Please contact us if you have any questions
Visa Faq

Our O1 Visa Video will explain the O-1 process and may answer many questions you might have. Please view the introduction  video here or you can view the checklist video here.

Q. Who Can Apply For an O1 Visa?

A: The aim of the O-1 visa classification is to identify people who are extremely talented in their field. The US Immigration Authority classify these people as “individuals with extraordinary ability” In order to apply for this visa you need to be able to demonstrate an extremely high level of achievement in the sciences, business, athletics, the arts, or in education. Applicants must be able to evidence national or international acclaim to substantiate their extraordinary ability. If you come from an entertainment or television background you will be asked to prove a record of extraordinary achievements.

To meet the O-1 criteria you will need to be able to verify your claim of extraordinary ability and any recognition you rely on with a substantial amount of documentation. The source of your documentation for extraordinary ability needs to be provided by a recognised body respected as an authority in your field of occupation. Typical examples which we have had success with include actors, specialist dancers, makeup artists, stuntmen, music artists plus so many more.

The O-1 visa is a non-immigrant employment-based visa classification for foreign nationals who can demonstrate the sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. It requires the employer file a petition for a nonimmigrant worker, along with evidence of the individual’s extraordinary ability. The extraordinary ability in the field of sciences, education, business, or athletics refers to a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of a small percentage of people who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. The O-1 visa is for persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, athletics, television, and motion picture industry. The individuals must have “extraordinary ability” in their field of expertise.

Such ability must be extensively documented and substantiated through awards, media attention received, and association with other renowned experts in the same field, and/or innovation or major contributions in the specific field of expertise among other forms of proof.

National and/or international acclaim of the individual is important in establishing extraordinary ability.

In the arts and motion picture category, the USCIS interprets “extraordinary ability” quite broadly to encompass most fields of creative endeavor. An O1 visa is available to you if you can demonstrate enough ability, have a sponsor and a job offer.

Q. What is an O Visa?

A: Typically if you are a foreign national who wants to work in the US and can demonstrate extraordinary ability in your field, you can apply through the O1 visa process. This requires an employer to file a petition on your behalf. The petition is for a nonimmigrant worker. As well as the actual petition the employer will need to file evidence of your ability or achievements. To qualify for this type of visa you will need to work in the arts, the sciences, entertainment or television, education, athletics or business at the highest level. You must be able to provide evidence of your achievements from a recognised and respected body typically by way of affidavit, awards and evidence of achievements in your field.

Your “extraordinary ability” in your field of expertise must be extensively documented and substantiated through awards, media attention received, and association with other renowned experts in the same field, and/or innovation or major contributions in the specific field of expertise among other forms of proof. National and/or international acclaim of the individual is important in establishing extraordinary ability.

Q. Who Can Apply?

A: Any qualified US Employer or Agent can file the I-129 petition form for non-immigrant workers. This can be files least 45 days before the beginning of the employment period but can’t be filed more than one year prior to the commencement of the employed period. Once the visa petition is approved by USCIS, the beneficiary can apply for Change of Status or visa extension with USCIS or US Consulate abroad.

Q. What Kind of Evidence Will I Need?

The evidence required depends on which classification you will be applying under. Broadly you will be asked to supply a copy of any contracts between you and the employer. If a written contract is not yet available you will need to show evidence of the terms agreed upon for the role you will fill. You will also be required to provide details of activities you will be involved in as well as providing timings for the start and end dates. A copy of the itinerary for each event or activity will also be necessary.

All evidence submitted to support an O petition will need to be in the form of awards, affidavits, contracts and other like documents. They must be executed by an officer or responsible person from the company, firm, organisation or establishment that the alien will work for.

The other group of documents required will be affidavits from recognised experts, previous employers. These must certify the extraordinary ability or the achievements that you have attained. They must accurately and factually describe the recognition, ability or achievements. The affiant must also include their own credentials as well as stating how the affiant collated the information.

The documents must be originals. However, a clear photocopy may be submitted in lieu of an original but the original may still be requested by the Director.

(A) An O-1 classification applies to:
(1) An individual alien who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability; or
(2) An alien who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture and/or television productions and who is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary achievement.
(B) An O-2 classification applies to an accompanying alien who is coming temporarily to the United States solely to assist in the artistic or athletic performance by an O-1. The O-2 alien must:
(1) Be an integral part of the actual performances or events and possess critical skills and experience with the O-1 alien that are not of a general nature and which are not possessed by others; or
(2) In the case of a motion picture or television production, have skills and experience with the O-1 alien which are not of a general nature and which are critical, either based on a pre-existing and longstanding working relationship or, if in connection with a specific production only, because significant production (including pre- and post-production) will take place both inside and outside the United States and the continuing participation of the alien is essential to the successful completion of the production.

Do I Need An Attorney?

The O1 visa is a complicated process. If the documentation is not submitted correctly it will be rejected. It’s very easy to miss something if you aren’t used to completing this type of application. For these reasons, it’s highly recommended that you engage an attorney to lead you through the process. It’s the safest way to avoid disappointment.


US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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