The Immigration Act of 1990 created the nonimmigrant O visa classification for nonimmigrants with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business and athletics, and for those with extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.
- O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
- O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
- O-2: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance
- O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s
- The P-1A visa classification applies to foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete – individually or as part of a group or team – at an internationally recognized level of performance.
- The P-1B classification
applies to foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time. At least 75% of the members must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential. Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.
- Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete/team or entertainment group, and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are also eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees (P-1A support), or front office personnel, camera operators, lighting technicians and stage personnel (P-1B support).
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