The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for individuals who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. For more information about O-1 petitions, please click here.
All O-1 petitioners must establish that there are events or activities in the beneficiary’s field of extraordinary ability for the validity period requested. However, an itinerary is not required for all O-1 petitions.
So how do you know if you need to include an itinerary as part of your O-1 petition?
When the O-1 event or activity is for one employer at one location for the duration of O-1 status, you would not be required to submit an itinerary. Rather, you would typically include a contract or offer letter signed by the beneficiary and petitioner that includes material terms such as start and end dates and compensation.
If the artist will perform various engagements at multiple venues, however, providing evidence of the engagements becomes more complex. A petition which requires the foreign national to work in more than one location must include an itinerary with the dates and locations of 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.
There are also no exceptions to the itinerary requirement when the petition is filed by an agent performing the function of an employer. The itinerary should at a minimum indicate what type of work the beneficiary will be engaged in, where the work will be performed, and when this work will take place. USCIS does give some flexibility to how detailed the itinerary must be and also takes into account industry standards when determining whether the itinerary requirement has been met. Nonetheless, the “best practice” is to include a contract or letter for each event on the itinerary.
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