O1 Visa to EB1 Green Card For Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
Are You An Alien of Extraordinary Ability and Looking to Convert an O1 Visa to an EB1 Green Card?
We have a number of highly talented clients with very specific job opportunities, whether it be on a special project or a new opportunity in the United States. These individuals, because they have a job offer, often qualify for the O1 visa, which we are able to successfully secure for them. Other clients come to us after being in the US on the O1 visa for a period of time, tired of the limitations invoked by that visa and seeking opportunities for a green card.
In both cases, having an O1 is a great stepping stone to an EB1 Green Card because, basically, the criteria for the O1 visa and EB1 Green Card are very similar.
Some might argue that the threshold is slightly higher in the case of a green card application. In truth, the matter is technically argumentative, which is ‘lawyer’s speak’ for ‘can be argued either way’. There is an O1 visa list of criteria where the alien has to be able to identify at least three categories and for the EB1 there is another list from which the alien must be able to satisfy three of the categories. Nevertheless, when our clients have an O1 visa already, the next natural step is to apply for what is called a priority worker EB1 class Green Card as well. The EB1 option is only worth doing if the client ultimately wishes to become a permanent resident in the US and settle there.
The advantages of applying for the EB1 Green Card are: –
- As an EB1 Green Card holder, the spouse and children (unmarried or under 21) would all get green card status also, and be able to do whatever they liked. Whereas, the O1 does not create working opportunities for the spouse and children, they must qualify in their own right.
- As an O1 visa holder, you must have an agent or sponsor of some kind offering you work in the US, whereas the EB1 holder does not, and thus you are given more freedom to work as you are no longer bound by your employer.
- The green card is valid for 10 years, and the family could be eligible for citizenship as soon as 5 years after receiving the green card, whereas with the O1, you will need to renew it at least once every 3 years.
As you can see, although the O1 is an excellent visa, the benefits of EB1 status are that much greater.
According to the INA section quoted at the start of this review, the ideal O1 candidate is a person who has received sustained national or international acclaim for their extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or motion picture industry.
0-1 For Arts / Music Entertainers: Non-immigrants in the arts must show a high level of achievement as demonstrated by the degree of skill and has received recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered and is recognized as prominent, i.e. renowned, leading or well known.
O-1 For Motion Picture and Television: Non-immigrants in television and motion picture industries must show that they have attained a very high level of accomplishment evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered and are recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading. (8 C.F.R. Section 214.2(O)(3)(ii)
Congress further stated that extraordinary priority worker classification (EB1 Green Card Status) is “reserved for that small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor”. This report further argued that the definition of O1 non-immigrants is identical to that for EB1 priority workers. As discussed above based on reports of Congress many attorneys will file for both O1 and EB1 status. This having been said, success at the O1 level does not automatically guarantee success at the EB1 level. This is especially true for arts and motion picture-based applicants, because a person can be very well known but not be deemed at the very top of their field of endeavor. (INA section 203(b)(1)(a)(i), as amended by IA90, section 121(a).
We can, however, work with you to identify three categories that you can satisfy for the EB1 Green Card or develop the categories to meet the requirement of the EB1. Either way, if you are an O1 visa holder, give us a call today to see how we can help put you on a path to a green card.
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,
Tel: 310 496 4292
Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.
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Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa, O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.
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