Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

O1 Visa Attorney Chris M. Ingram Asks Have You Commanded High Remuneration or a High Salary Compared to Your Peers? *

O1 Visa Specialist – If you’re able to command a very high salary then we may have this category satisfied. We’re talking a high remuneration as compared to others in the same field. Each profession pays differently and in some professions the pay comparatively speaking is not that high so here we’re only interested in pay as it pertains to your field.

6. A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, in the past or the future, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence. 101(a)(15)(o) and 8 CFR § Sec. 214(o).

Here, the O1 visa card examiner is looking for some objective documentation to determine whether the applicant’s salary is indeed high or significantly high in relationship to others in the same field.

There are a variety of ways to begin to get a feel for assessing your income, one way O1 visa green card examiners will accept is an independent salary bureau statistical report on salaries. One such data base is O*Net Online in the US but there should be something comparable in your home country. O*Net Online. I’m going to give you a working example so you know how to use this excellent resource. Ok, if you click on the top right section called Career Cluster you can search for almost any mainstream occupation. 

For O1 visa purposes green card purposes, your main focus of inquiry will be to determine the Prevailing Wage (see below), however, I’ve outlined in some detail how to define your job within this database too as this will help you determine the right pay for your job. I’d also like to point out that in many countries the pay scales are much lower than they are in the US. Therefore, you can use O*Net as a guide, but also take the time to find an equivalent database for you own country and compare. This having been said if you’re earning more than Americans then you’re going to be in great shape no matter what.

Example 1: If you go to the Career Cluster window there is a drop down window. Click on that and then select ‘Business, Management and Administration’. Once you enter, you’ll then be given a list of jobs that come under that category. Select the first one listed ‘Computer Operators’ – (you will also notice that each job has a number. The reference number for a ‘Computer Operator’ is 43-9011.00. This number can be used on other similar websites.)  If you click on the ‘Computer Operators’ option you will then be taken to a ‘Summary Report’ that basically describes in detail what ‘Computer Operators’ do. Scroll down this page until you get to the section called ‘Job Zone’ and under that section you want to focus on these areas- the ‘Education’, ‘Job Training’ section and the ‘SVP Range’. 

For the ‘Education’ section it says in essence that only a modest amount of education is required, perhaps an Associate Degree, which is half a BA degree.  For the ‘Job Training’ section you want to see some commentary that indicates that a BA degree is usually required for this job or extensive training/experience.  In this example, for ‘Computer Operators’ only one to two years training is required. For O1 visa card applicants whether your particular job requires a degree is not that significant, especially in the Media and Entertainment fields where many of the jobs rely more on talent and ability rather than academic qualifications. This outline has been drafted to cater to a broad spectrum of employment, but at the end of the day we’re looking to measure pay more than anything else for this O1 visa category.

Under the ‘SVP Range’ section, this is an indicator as to the degree of skill required for the job. For BA level and above level jobs you really want the SVP range to be 7 – 8+. In this example the SVP range is 6-7.  Therefore, this is not a particularly skillful job. 

Example 2: If you go back to the ‘Business, Management and Administration’ home page and this time select Financial Manager’ (11-3031.02) if you go to the ‘Job Zone’ section you will notice under the ‘Education’, ‘Job Training Requirements’ and ‘SVP indicators’, it’s very clear that this is a position for senior personnel with a BA or equivalent and the job range is between 7-8. So you can research any job and see whether or not the job you’re doing now or maybe offered has a high skill level requirement. 

Prevailing Wage Issues

The O*Net online site also provides you with good information about what the pay scale in the US is for each job. For O1 visa purposes you want to see whether or not your income is at or above the 90th Percentile (top 10%). If you are then you could be one step closer to your O1 visa goal.

Example 3: If you go back to the ‘Financial Manager’’ job (11-3031.02), but this time scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see that the ‘Median Wage’, (average wage), is $99,330. If you scroll down a little further you will see a link where you can enter a State name. If you enter ‘New York’ you’ll be taken to a page that provides you with a more detailed breakdown as to the lowest – highest pay scales. There is another website called the ‘Foreign Labor Data Certification Center’ that provides wage information on a city-by-city basis. This is an excellent resource to further narrow down pay determinations. 


The goal of this exercise is to help you determine whether your income could be considered as being high in comparison to others. If so you could potentially satisfy another O1 visa category.  This outline should help you determine whether your income in comparison to Americans can be considered as being high, but don’t forget if your country’s salaries are typically lower then send me evidence from a similar database how your income compares in your own country. I can’t wait.

By US Immigration Attorney Chris M Ingram
101(a)(15)(o) and 8 CFR § Sec. 214(o)
O1 Visa Specialist
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Other Chapters O1 Visa Categories:
(A) National Award Nomination or Win
(B) 1: Leading Role In Event or Production
(B) 2: Critical Reviews in Press
(B) 3: Major Role in Distinguished Co’
(B) 4: Vital Role on Successful Project
(B) 5: Recognition From Experts & Critics
(B) 6: High Salary / Remuneration
(B) 7: Other Evidence of Extraordinary Ability

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

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
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
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. 


General Location:  Santa Monica, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
Serving all 50 States
Copyright 2010


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