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Extraordinary Ability Visa

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Extraordinary Ability Visas Require Extensive Documentation

An extraordinary ability visa, also called an O-1 visa, grants temporary residency to those who have recognized achievements in business, education, athletics, entertainment and the arts. Members of the visa holder’s immediate family and personal staff also can obtain a visa. These visas require extensive documentation to prove applicants are recognized in their field and will work in the U.S. during their stay. Obviously, “extraordinary ability” is a subjective evaluation, and it is very important to support applications with sources the government will find credible.

Our clients have included NASA researchers, celebrity chefs, writers, business executives, and many athletes and performing artists. Our athlete clients have included Olympians, boxers, tennis players, snowboarders, motocross racers, gymnasts and their coaches. On the performing artist side, we have represented Cirque du Soleil performers, dancers for Madonna and Beyoncé tours, musicians, singers and production managers. We understand the unique needs of performers and athletes who must adhere to rigorous schedules of teams or tours.

In some cases, athletes and others in this category may be able to come into the U.S. without a visa, but they are at constant risk of losing their permission to stay in the U.S. This can leave them unable to fulfill contracts and meet other obligations. Currently, U.S. embassies are placing additional scrutiny on these visa applications, which places additional weight on having the right documentation. We have obtained extraordinary ability visas for hundreds of applicants across the globe and can advise clients on the best strategy for obtaining such visas.

Examples of our extraordinary ability clients include:

  • Performing artists in Cirque du Soleil and touring shows such as La Nouba, Mystere, “O,” Kà, Alegria, Michael Jackson, Love and Zumanity.
  • Lead dancers for Madonna, Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, MTV Video Music Awards, European Music Awards and Dancing with the Stars.
  • A young artist who won “The Voice” in Russia.
  • A French acrobatic performer who was featured on Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, a popular French television show.
  • A magician who has won international awards.
  • A renowned French journalist.
  • Executive chefs who have worked in famous restaurants.
  • The executive of a leading Canadian tourism enterprise.
  • A NASA researcher and engineer.