Sunday, September 5, 2010

USCIS Summaries on O-1 and P-1A Visas

The USCIS has updated its website with a useful summary of the requirements for obtaining an O-1 visa, which is used for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. The website also contains a similar summary for the P-1A visa, which can be used for Internationally Recognized Athletes. This visa is available to athletes coming to the United States to participate in team events. The athlete must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. This visa is commonly used by major league sports conglomerates, such as the NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL and MLS, to import foreign players. Higher profile athletes can also avail of the O-1 visa, while average professional athletes in the major leagues can get by with a P-1A. The O-1 visa is favorable as its requirements are similar to those of the EB-1A, which is a green card category that generally involves a much shorter waiting time relative to other employment-based visa categories.

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