For a long time, the H-1B visa, which allows employers to hire foreigners who have “specialty occupations,” was clearly the immigration solution of choice for skilled people wishing to enter the United States.
But in recent years, the O-1 visa, which is reserved for “individuals with extraordinary ability,” has become an increasingly popular alternative, especially for artists and entrepreneurs who are self-employed or may even employ others.
The O-1 visa allows individuals of extraordinary ability to come to the U.S. for up to 3 years, and it can be extended for a variety of reasons. It also does not require a college degree, so it is ideal for many young entrepreneurs, such as hot shot computer programmers who have already developed marketable products prior to graduating from or even being admitted to college.
This visa has also been used by entertainers and artists, such as Piers Morgan, one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend models, and other Hollywood figures.
Furthermore, while the H-1B visas are limited in number, there are no caps on the O-1 visa program (as of yet) and more than 12,000 such visas were approved last year, nearly 33 percent more than the number approved just five years earlier.
If you are an aspiring and gifted entrepreneur, artist or entertainer in need of immigration assistance, do not hesitate to contact our office for an appointment to speak with a qualified immigration lawyer at (847) 564-0712. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information on how we might assist you.