Global Immigration Attorney

O & P Visas Let Your Extraordinary Talent
Shine Bright

Contact us today to discuss your case.

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Extraordinary Ability Visa Attorneys in Los Angeles

O & P Visa Services in Los Angeles and Clients Nationwide

Are you an entertainer, performer, athlete, or any other individual with extraordinary talent? The O & P nonimmigrant visas are designed for professionals and groups with exceptional abilities or artistic contributions. Both types of visas have several subcategories, and understanding the difference between each (and deciding which one is right for you) is impossible without years of training and experience.

At Oakhurst Immigration Law, we have an in-depth understanding of this niche area of immigration law. If you have talent, art, athletic skills, or exceptional professional abilities that deserve to be shared with the world, our O & P visa attorneys have what it takes to turn that vision into a reality. Let us handle the legal hassles of this process so you can focus on your craft.


Extraordinary talent deserves extraordinary legal support. Call Oakhurst Immigration Law at (310) 742-8005 or contact us online to request your free initial consultation today.


P-1 Visas

There are two primary types of P-1 visas: P-1A (for athletes) and P-1B (for performers in an entertainment group).

P-1A visa eligibility factors can include:

  • National team experience, consisting of significant contributions
  • Consultation letter from the national governing body that describes the accomplishments of the beneficiary
  • NCAA varsity experience with significant contributions
  • Reputable international rankings
  • Being signed to a US Major League team in the previous season
  • Letters from industry experts and other high-level athletes
  • Significant awards
  • Schedule of events in the United States that enjoy an international reputation

P-1B visa eligibility requirements include the following:

  • 75% of individual artists or members have provided services to the performance group for at least one year before applying for the P-1B petition. The only exception is for circus groups for both performers and support staff.
  • The performing group has substantial evidence of major international achievement. National recognition can also be highly persuasive in unique conditions where the group is outstanding over a significant period of time.
  • The performance group and individuals in the group are internationally recognized and can prove this with supporting evidence.

It is important that the group share international recognition and acclaim as a group, rather than just individually.

Our team at Oakhurst Immigration Law can also help clients obtain P-1S visas, which are for essential support staff of P-1 visa holders. Essential support staff include camera operators, lighting and sound technicians, stagehands, coaches, and front office employees. These individuals must prove that the essential employment cannot be easily performed by a United States citizen.

O-1 Visas

O-1 visas are reserved for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, athletics, sciences, education, and business. The international workforce benefits greatly from the flexibility and quickness of obtaining visas in the O category, which does have many of the limitations and complications that come with the H-1B visa program.

The two primary subcategories of the O-1 visa are:

  1. O-1A – Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in athletics, education, business, and science. This visa has a higher standard of eligibility than the O-1B category.
  2. O-1B – Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in motion pictures, television, and the arts.

We also help clients obtain O-2 visas (for essential support personnel of O-1A and O-1B visa holders) and O-3 visas (for the spouse and children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders).

Beginning in 2020, there will be more pressure on USCIS adjudication officers to heavily scrutinize petitions in all categories, including the O-1 visa. Choosing the correct O-1 category is vital, as is completing the application with zero errors and sufficient documentation. Our lawyers at Oakhurst Immigration Law help clients apply for visas in the categories that have the highest possible chances of case approval.

O-1A: Athletics, Education, & Business

The O-1A visa is the category with the strictest eligibility requirements. These visas are reserved for individuals such as business executives, world-class athletes, and persons in academia. O-1A visas require copious amounts of evidence to prove that the beneficiary has experienced sustained international or national acclaim in their industry.

There are several categories for proof of sustained acclaim under the O-1A category, including receipt of a major award (e.g. Nobel Prize or Olympic medal), OR at least 3 of the following:

  • Other international and national awards in the beneficiary’s industry
  • Association with groups that require outstanding qualities for membership
  • Published articles about the beneficiary and their contributions to the industry
  • Significant, original, tangible, and intangible contributions to science, academia, or business
  • Authorship of articles and essays in professional media outlets
  • Employment in an essential capacity
  • Receipt of higher compensation than peers

O-1B: Motion Picture, Television, & the Arts

Motion picture and television professionals include not only actors but also cinematographers, writers, directors, and other essential personnel. For motion pictures and television-based O-1B petitions, the beneficiary must already have a history of extraordinary achievement and proof of a degree of skill that is outstanding, leading, and/or notable compared to their peers.

Arts include:

  • Visual artists
  • Musicians
  • Virtual artists
  • Dancers
  • Sound engineers
  • Stylists
  • Art directors
  • Other creative professionals

O-1B visas applicants in the arts must prove the distinction of having skills substantially above what is typically encountered in their field. In addition, the applicant must be considered renowned, well known, or leading in their industry.

Generally, the O-1B visa has a less rigid eligibility standard than the O-1A visa. O-1A applicants are not able to take advantage of the O-1B visa requirements because the supporting evidence for their background simply would not fit in enough categories to obtain the visa, and the job title is not likely to be accepted by USCIS for the O-1B category.

The O-1B visa requirements include receipt of a major award that would be the equivalent to a world championship in athletics or a Grammy in music, OR at least 3 of the following:

  • Previously has and will participate in critically acclaimed and prestigious events, projects, and performances
  • Significant national and international awards in the beneficiary’s field of endeavor
  • Previously has or will play a leading role in projects, events, and performances with prestigious companies and organizations
  • Articles from third parties with reputable media outlets discussing the work of the beneficiary
  • Critical reviews of the beneficiary’s work included in major media outlets, trade publications, and industry journals
  • Evidence of sustained acclaim and recognition from experts, industry insiders, important organizations, and other sources
  • Earning or will be earning a significantly higher wage than peers in the same industry

Ready to get started on your O or P visa application? Give us a call at (310) 742-8005 or fill out our online contact form. We offer same-day appointments, free case reviews, and multilingual services.

Our Commitment to You

What You Can Expect from Us
  • Free Consultations

    We offer complimentary consultations over the phone and through video.

  • We Speak Your Language

    We serve clients in French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and Arabic

  • Hands-On Approach

    Our attorneys handle each petition with the utmost care and personal attention.

  • Accessibility

    Our attorneys are able to travel to you and help you with your case.

Put Our Experience to Work for You Schedule a Consultation

We work exclusively in O & P visas, ensuring that you get the best representation from people who know what they are doing. Reach out to us today to discuss your unique case.

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