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Extraordinary Ability Visa Attorneys in Charlotte

O & P Visa Services for Clients Nationwide

Are you an entertainer, performer, athlete, or any other individual with extraordinary talent? The O & P nonimmigrant visas are designed for professionals and groups with exceptional abilities or artistic contributions. Both types of visas have several subcategories, and understanding the difference between each (and deciding which one is right for you) is impossible without years of training and experience.

At Oakhurst Legal Group, we have an in-depth understanding of this niche area of immigration law. If you have talent, art, athletic skills, or exceptional professional abilities that deserve to be shared with the world, our Charlotte O & P visa attorneys have what it takes to turn that vision into a reality. Let us handle the legal hassles of this process so you can focus on your craft.

Extraordinary talent deserves extraordinary legal support. Call Oakhurst Legal Group at (704) 288-1003 or contact us online to request your free initial consultation today.

P Visas

P-1 Visas

There are two primary types of P-1 visas: P-1A (for athletes) and P-1B (for performers in an entertainment group).

P-1A visa eligibility factors can include:

  • National team experience, consisting of significant contributions
  • Consultation letter from the national governing body that describes the accomplishments of the beneficiary
  • NCAA varsity experience with significant contributions
  • Reputable international rankings
  • Being signed to a US Major League team in the previous season
  • Letters from industry experts and other high-level athletes
  • Significant awards
  • Schedule of events in the United States that enjoy an international reputation

To discuss your case with a seasoned immigration attorney in Charlotte, reach out to our firm today by calling (704) 288-1003.

P-1B Visa Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for this visa includes the following:

  • 75% of individual artists or members have provided services to the performance group for at least one year before applying for the P-1B petition. The only exception is for circus groups for both performers and support staff.
  • The performing group has substantial evidence of major international achievement. National recognition can also be highly persuasive in unique conditions where the group is outstanding over a significant period of time.
  • The performance group and individuals in the group are internationally recognized and can prove this with supporting evidence.

It is important that the group share international recognition and acclaim as a group, rather than just individually.

Our team at Oakhurst Legal Group can also help clients obtain P-1S visas, which are for essential support staff of P-1 visa holders. Essential support staff includes camera operators, lighting and sound technicians, stagehands, coaches, and front-office employees. These individuals must prove that the essential employment cannot be easily performed by a United States citizen.

Our Victories Speak for Themselves

  • Auto Investor Ari Heikkinen and Wife Kaarina Received E-2 Visas Successful Petition for E-2 Visas

    Sherrod Seward of Oakhurst Legal Group successfully petitioned for E-2 investor visas for Finland national Ari Heikkinen and his spouse, Kaarina Heikkinen.

  • DUI Charge Successful Not Guilty Verdict

    Client was found not guilty at trial due to a successful litigation strategy crafted and used by Attorney Harris.

  • Felony Charge Successful Case Dismissal

    Client charged with felony inciting a riot. After disputing the evidence presented by the D.A. and noting their obvious lack of evidence, this case was dismissed prior to trial.

  • Felony Possession of Marijuana Charge Successful Case Dismissal

    Client charged with possession of marijuana for edible foods. After disputing the lack of evidence and proof in the case, charges were dismissed prior to trial.

  • Local Ordinance Violation Successful Case Dismissal

    Client charged with violating a local ordinance. Attorney Harris argued that the ordinance itself was unlawful therefore, in the interest of justice the case should be dismissed prior to trial.

  • Obaika Racing, LLC President and CEO Approved for Three-Year Visa Three-Year Visa Approved

    We effectively petitioned for a three-year approval for Obaika Racing, LLC superstar Victor Obaika’s L-1A status.


O-1 Visas

O-1 visas are reserved for foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, athletics, sciences, education, and business. The international workforce benefits greatly from the flexibility and quickness of obtaining visas in the O category, which does have many of the limitations and complications that come with the H-1B visa program.

The two primary subcategories of the O-1 visa are:

  • O-1A – Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in athletics, education, business, and science. This visa has a higher standard of eligibility than the O-1B category.
  • O-1B – Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in motion pictures, television, and the arts.

We also help clients obtain O-2 visas (for essential support personnel of O-1A and O-1B visa holders) and O-3 visas (for the spouse and children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders).

Beginning in 2020, there will be more pressure on USCIS adjudication officers to heavily scrutinize petitions in all categories, including the O-1 visa. Choosing the correct O-1 category is vital, as is completing the application with zero errors and sufficient documentation. Our lawyers at Oakhurst Legal Group help clients apply for visas in the categories that have the highest possible chances of case approval.

O-1A: Athletics, Education, & Business

The O-1A visa is the category with the strictest eligibility requirements. These visas are reserved for individuals such as business executives, world-class athletes, and persons in academia. O-1A visas require copious amounts of evidence to prove that the beneficiary has experienced sustained international or national acclaim in their industry.

There are several categories for proof of sustained acclaim under the O-1A category, including receipt of a major award (e.g. Nobel Prize or Olympic medal), OR at least 3 of the following:

  • Other international and national awards in the beneficiary’s industry
  • Authorship of articles and essays in professional media outlets
  • Employment in an essential capacity
  • Receipt of higher compensation than peers
  • Association with groups that require outstanding qualities for membership
  • Published articles about the beneficiary and their contributions to the industry
  • Significant, original, tangible, and intangible contributions to science, academia, or business

O-1B: Motion Picture, Television, & the Arts

Motion picture and television professionals include not only actors but also cinematographers, writers, directors, and other essential personnel. For motion pictures and television-based O-1B petitions, the beneficiary must already have a history of extraordinary achievement and proof of a degree of skill that is outstanding, leading, and/or notable compared to their peers.

Arts include:

  • Visual artists
  • Musicians
  • Virtual artists
  • Dancers
  • Sound engineers
  • Stylists
  • Art directors
  • Other creative professionals

O-1B visas applicants in the arts must prove the distinction of having skills substantially above what is typically encountered in their field. In addition, the applicant must be considered renowned, well known, or leading in their industry.

Generally, the O-1B visa has a less rigid eligibility standard than the O-1A visa. O-1A applicants are not able to take advantage of the O-1B visa requirements because the supporting evidence for their background simply would not fit in enough categories to obtain the visa, and the job title is not likely to be accepted by USCIS for the O-1B category.

The O-1B visa requirements include receipt of a major award that would be the equivalent to a world championship in athletics or a Grammy in music, OR at least 3 of the following:

  • Previously has and will participate in critically acclaimed and prestigious events, projects, and performances
  • Significant national and international awards in the beneficiary’s field of endeavor
  • Previously has or will play a leading role in projects, events, and performances with prestigious companies and organizations
  • Articles from third parties with reputable media outlets discussing the work of the beneficiary
  • Critical reviews of the beneficiary’s work included in major media outlets, trade publications, and industry journals
  • Evidence of sustained acclaim and recognition from experts, industry insiders, important organizations, and other sources
  • Earning or will be earning a significantly higher wage than peers in the same industry

Ready to get started on your O or P visa application in Charlotte and beyond? Give us a call at (704) 288-1003 or fill out our online contact form. We offer same-day appointments, free case reviews, and multilingual services.

What You Can Expect With Us

  • Relatable & Non-Traditional Representation

    We're not your average attorneys. We aim to provide the compassionate ear and highest quality representation to clients of all backgrounds.

  • Honesty

    We pledge to be fully transparent with you about your case and its practice outcomes.

  • Innovative Solutions

    We don't believe in offering standard, obvious choices. Our attorneys always aim to provide creative solutions to your legal obstacles.

  • Accessibility

    Our firm offers 24/7 phone service and consultations in-person, over the phone, and via video conference.

Real Clients. Real Reviews.

  • “I have been a client for Darlene Harris for about 3 years. She goes above and beyond to get the job done.”

    - Jarrell
  • “I’m a community activist and get arrested regularly—there isn’t another person in Charlotte I want to defend my civil rights. She has won every one of my cases!”

    - Jennifer
  • “I am assured that she is always defending and advising me with integrity and a thorough understanding of the law!”

    - Robbie
  • “This firm pays attention to detail and is always accessible. They are willing to go above and beyond for their clients.”

    - LaFarran Durman
  • “Best in the business! Was having issues getting a sports visa approved and ever since day one after we switched and started working with Sherrod, the experience was outstanding.”

    - Andre Berenzon

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