Skip to main content

For how long can I get an O-1 visa? What is an event for the purposes of O-1 visa?

By May 18, 2020May 20th, 2021Extraordinary Ability, Immigration
Image courtesy of Nguyen Hung Vu on Flickr (labeled for reuse)

Many of our new clients think that they can automatically get an O-1 visa for 3 years. This is a common misconception. The immigration regulations state that O-1 visa holder can come to the U.S. to perform services relating to an event/events and the O-1 visa will be granted for a period of time necessary to accomplish the particular event or activity (but not exceeding 3 years). Therefore, in your O-1 petition it is extremely important to submit evidence describing what is the “event/activity” you are coming to the U.S. to accomplish.

What is an event?

Federal regulations define event as an activity such as but not limited to:

  • a scientific project
  • conference
  • convention
  • lecture series
  • tour
  • exhibit
  • business project
  • academic year,
  • or an engagement.

Please note that a group of related activities may be considered to be an event.

You will have to submit an explanation of the nature of the event(s)/activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities with your O-1 petition.

If you will be only working for one O-1 employer at one location, you can submit an employment contract listing your job duties and that could be considered as an event. The employment letter should have a beginning and end date, and should list your compensation.

On the other hand, if you will be performing various engagements at multiple venues, you will have to include an itinerary with your O-1 petition that lists the dates and locations of you work. For example, a musician coming to tour the U.S. at different venues will need to provide an itinerary of confirmed and tentative performance dates for requested duration of the visa, in addition to contracts with each venue on the itinerary.

What if I submit an itinerary but there are gaps between my engagements?

An event may include short vacations, promotional appearances, and stopovers which are incidental and/or related to the event. As mentioned above, a group of related events may be considered to be an event. Our clients often ask us: how long can the gap be between the particular engagements? The regulations do not specify how long the gap can be and the adjudicators should evaluate the totality of the evidence when deciding whether the activities are related in such way that they are considered to be one event, or whether the engagement are separate events.

In the example above, all concerts could be considered to be one event if there are gaps between the particular concerts if you submit an itinerary of the tour. If the tour has the same performers and it is the same/similar performance at different venues in the U.S., the tour would probably be considered as one event.

Please see our blog post on O-1B visa when you click here.

Please see our blog post on what are your chances for O-1B approval when you click here.

FREE EB-1 / O-1 Visa Resources

Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free EB-1 / O-1 Visa Guide, sign up for our free EB-1 / O-1 Visa Webinar, or watch our EB-1 / O-1 Visa videos.

Download Our EB-1 / O-1 Visa Guide
Sign Up For Our EB-1 / O-1 Visa Webinar
Watch Our EB-1 / O-1 Visa Videos

Set up an EB-1 / O-1 Visa Consultation

For a dedicated one-on-one EB-1 / O-1 Visa consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.

Schedule a consultation

This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

Leave a Reply

Scott Legal, P.C. has Something For You
Thank you for connecting with us. We would be happy to assist you & send you free information on a number of topics including, Free Immigration Guides (E-1, E-2, L-1, H-1B, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1 & TN), Videos, Articles & Free Immigration Webinars.
We are happy to offer our EB-1 / O-1 guide that describes the EB-1 / O-1 requirements, and other advise to assist with your EB-1 / O-1 application.
For more info visit our EB-1 / O-1 service Page or schedule a consultation so we can handle your EB-1 / O-1 visa process.