O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the science, education, business, athletics, arts, motion picture, or television industry. For an Eb-1a green card, you have to demonstrate that you sustained national/international acclaim. O-1 visa is a dual intent visa and it’s possible to have a green card petition pending while holding an O-1 visa.
Do I have to have an O-1 visa before I apply for an Eb-1a green card?
It’s common that many people first apply for an O-1A or O-1B visa, stay in the U.S. for couple of years and work more in establishing themselves in their particular field and then apply for a green card, but it’s not required to have an O-1A or O-1B visa before applying for a Eb-1a green card. This means, that you could apply and get an Eb-1a green card even if you lived outside the US your whole life, as long as you can show that you meet the Eb-1a requirements.
Is O-1 visa a dual intent visa? Can I file a green card petition while in the U.S. on an O-1 visa?
Please note that a dual intent is permissible for O-1 visa holders – this means that you can apply for a green card and you can have an intent to move to the U.S. permanently, and this will not impact your O-1 visa (you will still be allowed to come to the US on the O-1 visa).
Additionally, the Foreign Affairs Manual specifically state that filing of an I-140 petition should not be a basis for denying your O-1 visa. You may come to the U.S. on an O-1 visa and at the same time you may be in the process of filing a green card application, and this is fine. This means, that you could even renew your O-1 visa at a Consulate while you are already at some stage of the green card process.
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