Frequently Asked Questions about O-1 Visa

Q: O-1 is a work visa. What’s the difference between O-1 and other non-immigrant work visas?

A: The O-1 visa covers a wide range of fields of work. There is no quota limit. An initial stay of O-1 visa is limited to no more than three years. It can be extended for one year at a time. There is no limit to the number of extensions that may be granted. H-1B visa is non-immigrant visa, designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit and employ foreign professionals in “specialty” occupations for a finite duration of time. The L-1 visa is applicable to multinational senior managers and executives. The stay of L-1 visa is limited to seven years.

Q: I haven’t obtained J-1 waiver and I haven’t fulfilled the two-year requirement to return to my home country. If I can get an O-1 visa, can I stay in the United States?

A: You must go back to your home country or a third country to apply for an O-1 visa. After your application is approved, you can work in the United States.