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O1 Visa for Nigerians

The O1 Visa allows individuals with extraordinary abilities to move to the US to work.For more information about legal advice for Nigerians seeking to apply for the O1 Visa, our legal experts will help with eligibility of visa requirements and the application process.

We will guide you through the appeal process for O1 Visa if the need arises. Call our office in Nigeria on +23413438882 or our US office on +44 (0) 3316300929. You can contact us online.

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    Are you a Nigerian with an Extraordinary Ability?

    Contact our team of immigration lawyers for information about the O1 Visa. We have helped many Nigerians get their O1 visa for the United States and we can also address any questions you may have regarding your visa application.

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    For Nigerian emigration matters, please call +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929

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    For immigration/emigration to/from other countries, please call:

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    O1 Visa Overview

    The O1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows someone with extraordinary achievements in education, business, sport, science and in the field of arts to come to the United States to work or perform. There is a certain set of criteria that must be fulfilled in order for an individual to obtain the O1 visa.

    Once it is verified that these criteria have been met, the applicant can get their visa within two weeks to three months of filing.

    These visas are intended to permit recipients of exceptional awards, honours, or medals to come to the United States and continue work in the field or area of their expertise, such as sciences education business or arts.

    What Is an O1 Visa?

    ‘Extraordinary ability’ can be demonstrated when you have a distinguished reputation or evidence of a major prize or award in the individual’s field, membership in certain professionals, or academic degrees.

    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the final say in whether an applicant qualifies for an O-1 Visa. An O-1 candidate must show that they have achieved national or international acclaim and that their achievements have been recognised in their field of work.

    In addition, an O-1 applicant must show that they will continue to work in the area of extraordinary ability.

    IAS immigration lawyers can help you understand the entire process and ensure that your O1 Visa application is completed and submitted on time.

    Benefits of an O1 Visa

    While on an O1 visa, you are allowed to accept any job offer as long as it fits the criteria of your profession. Some benefits of the O1 Visa include:

    • No quota restrictions
    • Work without restriction
    • Permits family members to accompany you to live in the US
    • A potential path to permanent residency (Green Card) in the US
    • International travel on a valid visa during the validity period of your approved petition without needing a re-entry permit or visa stamp from a US embassy or consulate abroad
    • No requirement of having an employer or agent petitioning on your behalf as long as you meet all other requirements for eligibility for the O1 Visa category

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      Eligibility for O1 Visa for Nigerians

      O1 Visa applicants also need to meet the following requirements:

      • Have an approved petition from the U.S. employer
      • Show proof of extraordinary ability in the form of evidence, such as competitive awards and other documentation of recognition
      • Have a written contract with your employer
      • Have sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in their field of expertise
      • Coming to the U.S. temporarily and exclusively to work in the field of extraordinary ability
      • Performed extensive research and documentation
      • Show a written recommendation from a sustained national or international recognised establishments that have a distinguished reputation

      Application Process for O1 Visa for Nigeria

      The sponsor, who can be a U.S. employer or agent, is responsible for preparing the petition and that will need to ensure they submit the following documents:

      • Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (O1 Visa)
      • A copy of the applicant’s birth certificate
      • Two passport-size photos of the person being sponsored
      • Copy of the employer’s EIN and FEIN

      The petition can be filed with the USCIS online or in person at a local Service Center. It must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. The petition will be processed within 90 days. If approved, your employer or agent will be informed that they must obtain other documents.

      Our expert immigration lawyers will help in filing the O1 Visa petition and gathering supporting documentation. With an O-1 Visa lawyer’s help, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding common mistakes and misunderstandings that could lead to an application being denied.

      How to File Form DS-160

      The DS-160 is the application for a nonimmigrant visa. You will need to complete the form online. You will be asked questions about your background, travel history, criminal record, and financial assets.

      After submitting your information, you will get an application receipt number, which is the confirmation number that you have submitted your application.

      After paying the fee and submitting the form, they will receive an email from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with instructions to print out a confirmation page that includes an interview appointment date and time at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

      How to Schedule an Interview

      On the US Department of State website, there are instructions on how to schedule an interview at a US Embassy or Consulate. The first thing you’ll need is the DS-160 form, which is used for all nonimmigrant visa applications.

      Once complete, you can go ahead and schedule your appointment online. You’ll need to know the specific dates you’re available and the address of the consulate or embassy you’d like to use (the list of locations can be found on the US Embassy or Consulate website in Nigeria).

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        What Are the Necessary Documents for an O1 Visa?

        It is important to gather all the necessary documents and submit them together with your I-129 petition. The following is a list of documents or certified copies of documents that you need to submit when applying for a O1 Visa from Nigeria:

        • Birth certificate
        • Police clearance (no older than 6 months)
        • Marriage certificate if married
        • Birth certificates of children
        • Record of extraordinary achievement in the sciences, education, arts, sports and business
        • Bank statements for the last 3 months
        • A criminal record from Nigeria (no older than 6 months)
        • A sworn statement by the petitioner explaining what the applicant will do in the US and how they will support themself

        Proving Extraordinary Ability for O1 Visa Application


        For the O1 Visa, a person can only qualify of they can show extraordinary ability in the following:

        • Athletics
        • Arts (Ability in the arts)
        • Business
        • Entertainment, such as motion picture or television
        • Science (exceptional ability in the sciences)
        • Education

        This level of expertise will need to be proven and can be dones so by evidencing:

        • Articles published in professional journals or other major media
        • Composition of major works in their field of expertise
        • Enrollment in evidence of scholarly activity such as an honours thesis, dissertation or a comprehensive exam
        • Prior participation in sustained national and international recognised competitions and awards if applicable in the field of their work, such as in the motion picture or television industry

        What Is the O-1 Visa Processing Time?

        The O-1 Visa processing time is approximately three months. Note that this is the time it takes for the petition to be processed at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, and does not include any time for obtaining your medical exam results or any additional paperwork needed by the consulate.

        How to Pay the O1 Visa Fee?

        When applying for a O1 Visa then the application cost is $460.  It is also possible to pay for premium processing that can cost up to $2,500.

        Other potential costs include medical examination fees and, biometric services.

        The fee is not refundable and if it is not paid, then your application will not be processed. To make sure that you pay the correct amount reach out for advice from an immigration expert.

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          Can I Bring Dependents on an O1 Visa?

          You may bring your dependents with you on an O1 Visa if they are immediate members of your family, such as your spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or parent.

          They will need to make an application for a O3 Visa, which will only be approved following the issue of a valid O1 Visa.

          Experienced IAS immigration lawyers can with the O3 Visa process and provide advice with how and when to apply so you are not separated from your loved ones.

          When Does a O1 Visa Expiry?

          If you are a worker with extraordinary ability or achievement, you can usually stay in the US on an O-1 Visa for up to three years. If you have started your own business and are able to prove that it is viable, then you’ll be able to get an additional three years. If you want to stay longer, you can file a petition for a Green Card (permanent residence).

          When it comes time to renew your O1 and O3 Visas, our immigration lawyers will guide you through this process, ensuring that your visa renewal application is not denied.

          What Is the Process for Changing the O1 Visa Status?

          If you are an O-1 Visa holder, it is important to understand the steps you can take to change your status from an O-1 Visa to a Green Card (permanent resident).

          For visa holders who want to apply for a O-1 visa to Green Card, you will need to complete Form I-485. You may want to consult with IAS immigration lawyers if you plan on changing your status from an O-1 Visa to Green Card permanent.

          The first step is to apply with USCIS while you’re still in the United States, using Form I-140 and supporting documents that prove your eligibility.

          You’ll need to show your employer’s support for the application, including any petitions they’ve filed for you and any letters or evidence of their continued financial commitment to you (such as a letter of employment to satisfy the O-1 Visa salary requirements).

          How Can IAS Help?

          Our professional and sympathetic immigration lawyers can assist with getting a visa for Nigerians who want to live or work in the United States.

          Our team of lawyers know what you need to do to get everything approved and file the paperwork correctly. We are familiar with any changes that have been made to immigration law in recent years and will know how to apply those changes to your situation.

          We can also help you prepare for your interview and ensure that you submit evidence that supports your immigration case.

          For more information about how to obtain the O1 Visa for Nigerians, our experienced immigration lawyers can guide you through every step of the application process, from filing your petition to gathering supporting documentation. Our legal team can help you avoid mistakes that could cause your application to be rejected. Call our office in Nigeria on +23413438882 or get in touch with us on +44 (0) 3316300929. You can also reach out to us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The petitioner should file an extension application with the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the place of residence. The petition can be filed up to six months before the expiration date of the status.

                    The supporting evidence should include proof that the applicant continues to be employed by the employer who filed the initial petition and proof that they will continue to be engaged in activities that are consistent with the immigration status.

                    Yes, an O1 Visa holder can change employers. But to do so, the new employer must file a new petition on your behalf and have it approved before you begin working for them.

                    Yes. Traveling outside the United States as an O1 Visa holder is permitted under certain conditions. The O1 Visa allows for a short period of time to travel and reenter the United States. It is essential that the visa holder has a valid passport and O1 Visa before leaving the United States.

                    Before traveling, it is crucial to ensure that the visa stamp in the passport is still valid to allow for re-entry into the country. This can be done by confirming with immigration officials at the port of entry or speaking with an Immigration lawyer.