How could your extraordinary ability get you a U.S. visa?

On Behalf of | May 25, 2022 | Immigration Explained

Acknowledging your special talent can help you secure a visa to live and work in the United States.

You do not need to prove your extraordinary ability to a panel of judges on a TV show but rather document it in a way that convinces the U.S. immigration authorities to let you in.

There are two visas to consider

If you only want to work temporarily, you could apply for an O-1 visa. You could get this for a year at a time with a maximum of three years.

If you want to move to the U.S. permanently, you need an E1-B visa. You can qualify for this through a major one-off achievement. Yet, if you have not won something of the magnitude of an Oscar, Pulitzer or Olympic medal, this is probably not open to you.

For most people, the route will be to meet at least three of the following 10 criteria related to your field, unless you are applying as a professor or researcher with a job offer when you only need to meet two:

  • Winning nationally or internationally recognized prizes
  • Membership in associations demanding outstanding achievement
  • Published material
  • Being invited to judge the work of others
  • Original contributions of major significance
  • Published articles in major publications or media
  • Exhibitions of your work
  • Taking a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Earning an exceptionally high salary for your field
  • Commercial successes in the performing arts

Immigration is complex, and competition for visas is high. Getting legal help to understand your best options and ensure you complete all applications correctly is crucial to enhancing your chances of success.