From O-1 Visa to Green Card – Article for “Gifted”

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O1 Visa to Green Card. The essence of the O-1 visa is that you can enter the United States, do what you love, and get paid for it. It is difficult to obtain it and it is expensive – but if you do not have a wife or husband in the United States and you are not ready to invest $1 million in the country’s economy with the creation of at least 10 jobs, then this is hardly the only way to legally move to the United States…

The probability of winning a green card is less than 1%, and only a third of applicants receive an H-1B work visa. But getting O-1 does not provide for either quotas or lotteries and a correctly submitted application, subject to a successful interview, is highly likely to be satisfied. This is exactly the case when your talent and authority will play into your hands. Plus, this is a sure way to convert your O-1 visa to a green card in the future. Let’s take a closer look at all the subtleties.

What are the benefits of an O-1 visa?

In general, the O visa group was specially created by the US government to enable highly educated and highly qualified professionals to work in the United States. They are considered people of outstanding ability and higher education. Category O visas provide mutual benefits for both workers and the country in which they work. On the one hand, those who want to live and work in the United States receive knowledge and skills, as well as wages according to American standards, while American companies receive highly qualified specialists who bring success to their companies. Therefore, it is natural that the government will only assist you in obtaining a green card in the future to preserve such valuable personnel for their country.

Main advantages regarding standard work visas:

  • O-1 visas are not quoted;
  • this visa is quite easily extended, provided that the person continues to work in the professional profile with which he applied for the visa. That is, if the photographer did not distribute pizza in the United States, then the chance of renewal will be high;
  • consideration of a petition and issuance of a visa takes only a month or two. There is an expedited procedure for processing a petition in two weeks. By the standards of the timing of obtaining work visas in the United States, this is just instant;
  • the ability to move the family;
  • O-1 visa has an “older sister” – the EB-1 green card, the description of the requirements for which exactly repeats the text of the O-1 requirements. Often, after moving to O-1 and acquiring some notable professional merit in the United States, you can apply for a green card and receive it with almost the same set of documents.

Read More: What is an O Visa in the USA

Role of the PR and recommendations in obtaining O-1 visa

For O-1 to be awarded “automatic”, you need to get some kind of cool international award of the Nobel Prize level or Olympic medal. If there are no such achievements, then you will need to prove that you fit at least three of the following six criteria:

  • participation in a closed professional community;
  • judging competitions or rankings in your area of ​​expertise;
  • availability of publications in the press dedicated to you or your project;
  • having national awards in your professional field;
  • evidence of significant contribution to the development and popularization of the applicant’s field of work;
  • in addition, a prerequisite is the availability of the maximum number of testimonials from high-level professionals who are personally familiar with your work success.

Recommendations are very important, as the O-1 visa is issued to specialists of almost any profile. Scientists, writers, businessmen, fashion models, programmers, designers, athletes, and so on.

o1 visa USA

Of course, the Migration Officer reviewing the petition does not understand fashion and biotechnology equally well. Therefore, recommendations from people who “google” well, look solid and vouch for you, add petitions to chances for approval.

An important point. If you hypothetically fit the O-1 requirements in terms of professional experience and income but are not publicized, this will be a problem. Did not speak at conferences, did not receive awards, did not write articles, or were not mentioned by journalists. Indeed, from the point of view of the American authorities, you can be as talented as you like, but if no one but your boss knows about this, the chance of getting such a visa approved is zero. So start preparing in advance articles in trade publications and the media about your achievements. And for example, can help with posting information about your successes and convert your O-1 visa to a green card! Get a chance to be published on popular (international or regional), trustworthy and interesting Internet resources.

Read More: How Many Citations Are Required to Qualify for Research Visa

More about EB-1

The EB-1 Green Card is a residence permit in the United States granted to outstanding professionals who have reached great heights in their field of activity. A residence permit is not citizenship, but after five years it is possible to obtain US citizenship.

EB-1 categories:

  • outstanding professionals – EB-1A;
  • distinguished scientists requesting entry to work and teach at universities and academic research institutions – EB-1B;
  • executives and top managers of companies with offices in the US and outside the US – EB-1C.

Despite the apparent similarities, there are some fundamental differences between EB-1 and O-1.

Unlike EB-1, O-1 is a nonimmigrant visa (does not lead to a green card). EB-1, accordingly, enables the applicant and close family members to apply for a green card.

O-1 requires an employer, while EB-1 allows for the possibility of applying even if there is no American employer.

The next step is to assess the overall evidence presented to ensure that the specialist is the best of the best in their field. Finally, it is necessary to show that your professional activity will bring national benefits to the country.

From O-1 Visa to EB-1 Green Card 

As mentioned above, the O-1 visa is categorized as a nonimmigrant visa. This means that the O-1 visa is temporary and does not lead directly to the green card.

To switch from an O1 visa to green card, you will need to either apply for a change of status or apply for an immigrant visa abroad.

Adjusting the status

A status adjustment is when you go from non-immigrant status to immigrant status. You must be legally located in the United States to change your status. The entire status adjustment process is carried out in the United States and you do not need to travel abroad.

Apply for an immigrant visa

Alternatively, you can apply for an immigrant visa abroad. This process is called consular processing, visa processing, or immigrant visa processing.

Regardless of which route you choose, you will need to apply and qualify as an immigrant.

And thanks to your achievements, confirmed by obtaining an O-1 visa, the process of obtaining a green card is greatly simplified.

Another way to apply for an EB-1 through an O-1 visa is to prove that the applicant’s work is of national interest. To obtain a residence permit in the United States, an outstanding immigrant must be one of the best in his country in terms of his field of work. Your goal is to prove that you have reached the highest level, have impressive abilities, and, having come to the United States, will make a unique contribution to the economy and culture of the States, and improve their reputation.

Conclusion: O1 Visa to Green Card

Finally, it should be noted that even a well-prepared package of documents does not give a one hundred percent guarantee. The standard is very high, and not everyone can reach it. Without an experienced immigration lawyer, your chances of getting an O-1 visa and US residency are drastically reduced. This is due to the elitism of this category: annually, visas and green cards are issued through outstanding abilities to a very small number of people. 

Anyone can call himself a person with outstanding abilities, but it is not always possible to meet the requirements for obtaining an O1 visa to green card. Meanwhile, the O-1 visa for outstanding personalities is one of the most important – if only because the field of human activity is always continuously connected with earnings. If you are denied a visa, you will lose certain funds and several months of preparation. Trying again will also take a long time. We advise you to contact an experienced immigration lawyer, work on your image systematically, appear in international publications and go towards your goal! Good luck!

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