Top 3 O-1 Questions I Receive

The O-1 Visa, also known as the Artist Visa, is complex and can sometimes seem intimidating.  There are so many questions surrounding the O-1 and you may have asked yourself the same questions below:

 

1. Do I need a high salary to qualify for the O-1?

 

The answer is no.

Most people who are applying for work visa know about the H-1B visa, where there is what we call a prevailing wage requirement, where you are required to make a minimum salary.

The reason for this is the government wanting to protect International Workers and foreign workers from potential exploitation from,US based companies. So, in the past foreign professionals were paid a lower wage compared to the US counterparts. The prevailing wage requirement was created to protect international workers.

So does this prevailing wage requirement exist for the O-1? No, there’s no salary requirement for the O-1. However, be wary of not earning too much income, because it is possible for an officer to issue a Request for Further Evidence (RFE), where the officer discusses or explores federal labor laws, and wage laws for the state that you’re working in.

While there is no requirement for a high wage, there, you should be making a livable salary, which is appropriate for your field, industry, and city where you will be working.

 

2. How can I find a job to be able to include in my petition? Well, this is a question that I get asked daily, how can I find work?

 

Securing work is not something that a licensed attorney can assist you with.

Attorneys that are directly working on your petition,  cannot direct you towards employment, as it would be a conflict of interest. The attorney is responsible for drafting the legal documents such as a Deal Memo, a letter of intent, a contract, job offer and employment agreement.This is something that needs to be secured by you if you choose to file the O-1, because future employment is a requirement for O-1 visas.

It is your responsibility to present to the attorney, the employment that you are going to undertake during the next three years. It is possible to secure work for the next three years in your field even in unstable industries such as modelling, performing, and fashion photography.

 

3. What are my chances of getting approved?

 

An attorney cannot guarantee an approval.

It is quite normal for human beings to want reassurance of an approval due to the time, energy, and resources invested in the  O-1 visa process. However, the adjudication process is quite complex and an approval involves a multitude of factors, including but not limited to the petition.

Factors can include: case filing, premium processing or regular processing, profession indicated in the form I-129, among other factors.

So the best question to ask are:

  • What is your recent experience with your approved cases?
  • What is your experience with my profession?
  • What are trends that you are noticing?

These questions will give you a little bit more insight into the strategy that the attorney employs, and possibly discuss the strategy of your case.

These are the Top 3 O-1 Questions that will help you save time during your O-1 Journey.

Elektra Yao is the managing attorney and founder of Yao Law Group. She loves working with artists and is a recognized leader for O-1 visas. Visit yaolawgroup.com for more information.

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