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What are the Steps Involved in the Preparation and Filing of an O-1 Petition? How Long Does it Take to Prepare an O-1 Visa Petition?

By April 2, 2020May 20th, 2021Extraordinary Ability, Immigration
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The Five Steps To Prepare and File an O-1 Petition

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for individuals that are extraordinary in a particular field. There are a number of different standards associated with an O-1 visa but they all point towards you being exceptionally good at something.  For more information about O-1 petitions, please click here

The following steps are the main five steps involved in the preparation and filing of an O-1 petition:

Step 1:  Set Up Initial Consultation

Examine your qualifications and credentials to identify which O-1 criteria you may potentially qualify for. Assess whether you meet the minimum evidentiary threshold in order to put together an O-1 petition. Understand your occupation and field of endeavor. If it is not an obvious one, discuss further as to what your core area of expertise is, and understand your core field of expertise in order to be able to see if you are one who can meet the standard required for the O-1A or O-1B. Determine your likelihood of success, and/or discuss strategies you can use to further strengthen your case to make it approvable.

Once you set up a consultation, please make sure to send us a copy of your up-to-date resume so that we can review your overall qualifications and assess your eligibility for the O-1.

Step 2: Document Gathering

Gather documents. We will provide specific instructions and guidance as to exactly what you need to provide us.

Step 3: Document Analysis

Analyze every component of your past record of achievements, including your past roles, employment history, publications/press materials, awards and other professional activities that may support your extraordinary ability.

Provide knowledge of USCIS laws and regulations, and apply our experience based upon numerous past cases filed to strategize and shape the petition customized specifically to the case’s strengths. Consider up-to-date knowledge with regard to trending O-1 issues.

Through ongoing, consultative interaction with you, provide feedback and guidance, and identify and address any gaps and weaknesses in your case in order to maximize the strength of the O-1 petition, which will maximize your chances of success.

Step 4: File Submission

Finalize the petition submission file and submit to the appropriate USCIS service center. If you file via regular processing, it can take anything from a few weeks to a few months to get a response from USCIS. If you file via premium processing, you will be able to get a response within 15 calendar days from the date of receipt of the O-1 petition.

Step 5: Approval or RFE

You will either receive an instant approval/denial or a Request for Further Evidence (“RFE”). If approved and you are in the United States in a valid non-immigrant status and you applied for a change of status, your status will automatically change to O-1 status. If you are outside of the United States, you will have to apply for a visa based upon the USCIS approval of your O-1 petition at a Consulate abroad.


Normally, a period of 2-3 months is ideal to have sufficient time to prepare a comprehensive O-1 petition. In certain situations where it is more urgent, it may be possible to reduce this time months depending on your particular situation. The O-1 visa petition is a very document intensive petition that requires advanced planning. As such, it is important to plan ahead and start preparing for the O-1 early on.

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