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Using the O-1 Visa to Expand the Workforce

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on January 26, 2011

A recent report by the Brookings Institution on the “brain gain” from U.S. immigration concluded that “today’s visa programs for high-skilled workers are not large enough [or open enough] to fill the numerical demand for such employees.”

The report called for the expansion and promotion of current visa programs for the highly-skilled, pointing in particular to the O-1 program for “people with extraordinary abilities in the arts, sciences, education, business and sports,” noting that only 45,000 individuals utilized the program in 2008.

If the program were expanded and better promoted, it might have a more significant impact on domestic scientific and technological innovation, the report asserted.

Indeed, potential employers of renowned physicians and scientists could make greater use of the program, which is currently open only to professionals of “extraordinary ability” who have earned national or international recognition within their field and have an offer of domestic employment for an event or project, or a series of events or projects related to their ability.

Those seeking to employ renowned physicians and scientists can only do so if the applicants can demonstrate their extraordinary ability. To do so, applicants may offer many kinds of evidence, including the following:

  • Evidence of international awards, prizes and recognitions.
  • Evidence of national awards or prizes for excellence.
  • Evidence of outstanding achievements as recognized by experts.
  • Evidence of articles and other publications they have produced in their field.
  • Evidence of original scholarly or scientific contributions.
  • Evidence of work for a notable organization in a very high capacity.
  • Evidence of highly salaried work in their field.

If you are an employer seeking to hire a highly-skilled worker who might qualify for an O-1 or any other kind of work visa, do not hesitate to call our offices at (847) 564-0712. You are also welcome to check out the pertinent section of our Website for more information.