Main Article: Immigration
Main Article: Non-Immigrant visa types
The O visa is a temporary worker visa granted to an individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (O-1A visa) or extraordinary ability in the arts and/or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry (O-1B visa). The O visa is not a direct path to a green card, however O-1 visa holders can pursue permanent U.S. residency.
The O-1 visa category is granted for three years and can be extended for 1 year at a time, with no limit to the number of times it can be extended. There are several advantages to the O-1 visa category. First, there is no annual limit on the number of O-1 visas that can be granted. Second, O-1 visa holders can pursue permanent U.S. residency (i.e. Green Card status).
O-2 visas can be granted to individuals that accompany the O-1 artist or athletes to assist in a specific event or performance. For example, a personal trainer.
O-3 visas can be granted to the spouse or children of O-1 or O-2 visa holders.
The petitioner should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, with the USCIS office listed on the form instructions. The petition may not be filed more than one year before the actual need for the alien's services. To avoid delays, the Form I-129 should be filed at least 45 days before the date of employment.