1. What is the O-1 Visa for Athletes?
The O-1 visa is an option for athletes considered as “alien with extraordinary ability”. It’s available only for individual athletes who can demonstrate that they possess a level of expertise in their field that meets the qualification requirements.
For teams that are looking to apply for the O-1 visa, each member should individually qualify for the said visa. To be considered as an alien with extraordinary ability, the applicant should meet several requirements, such as having consistent acclaim nationwide or internationally and being at the top of their particular field.
For O-1 visa applicants who have companions, such as coaches or managers, their companions can apply for the O-2 visa. However, they must be considered as an integral part of the athlete’s actual performance and should, therefore, be able to establish that they have the critical skills to support the athlete during their time in the US.
This athlete visa may be valid for up to three years. However, it’s still up to the USCIS to determine the period of validity for approved O-1 and O-2 petitions. If an applicant wants to extend their stay, they can apply for extensions of stay in increments.
Furthermore, if the applicant with an O-1, P-1 or H-2B status is traded from one team to another, they are given 30 days after the trade to allow them to work. Note that they should file a new I-129 petition within that same period.
2. Additional Resources
When applying for an athlete visa, knowing the type of visa you need to apply for and what documents to submit can be a tough challenge. To ensure that you can properly file your visa application, it’s always best to work with an athlete visa lawyer who is knowledgeable in US immigration requirements and laws specifically for athletes.
At Ramchand & Raval, our immigration lawyers can provide you with exceptional legal services to help you navigate the complex world of nonimmigrant visas for athletes. We leverage our over fifteen years of experience in the field to help you properly comply with statutes as well as file and monitor your application.
Apply for an athlete visa with confidence and peace of mind with the help of our team and get ready to open doors that will advance your athletic career. Take advantage of our firm’s services. Schedule your consultation today.