O-1 Application, Extension, & Transfer

O-1 APPLICATION STEPS

THE DEPARTMENT:
  • To begin the O-1 process, the department should contact the Slutzker Center for International Services.
  • Department must provide an appointment letter as well as prepare an O-1 support letter. The O-1 support letter must include statement that the department will pay the return trip cost if the department terminates employment of the O-1 employee before the expiration of O-1 status.
  • According to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2 (o)(5)(i), the department must consult with an appropriate U.S. peer group and obtain a written advisory opinion regarding the nature of the work to be done and the O-1 applicants qualifications for the position. The Office of International Programs will assist with meeting this requirement.
  • Once the I-129 Petition is prepared, the Slutzker Center will send a copy to the Department to have the filing fees prepared. The Department must pay the O-1 filing fee of $325. The filing fee should be made out to “Department of Homeland Security,”but the check should be sent to the Slutzker Center for International Services. SCIS must include the check with the O-1 application. Additionally, if Premium Processing is being sought for an expedited service, there is an additional filing fee of $1225.


O-1 APPLICANT (INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYEE):

1. LawLogix Access and Submit Supporting Documentation: The Slutzker Center for International Services uses the LawLogix service https://ww4.welcomeclient.com/ to securely collect personal biographical data, immigration and employment history information, and scans of supporting documents from all prospective O-1 employees. Once the hosting department initiates the O-1 sponsorship process, the Slutzker Center will contact the prospective O-1 employee with login information and access to the LawLogix website.

In preparation for the submission of materials, all prospective O-1 employees should gather and make scanned copies of the following documentation for uploading to LawLogix:

  • Curriculum Vita/ Resume which includes current address, home country address, statement of work history, and list of publications
  • Copy of highest university-level academic degree or diploma and transcripts/mark sheets.
    • Diplomas and transcripts/mark sheets do not have to be originals
    • Documents not in English must be translated by someone competent to do so (See attached translation certificate sample in Appendix F)
    • Degrees or documents issued by non-U.S. institutions will have to have a foreign credential evaluation
  • Copies of 3 most recent pay stubs/ paycheck notifications if currently employed in the US
  • Copy of Passport Identification Pages
  • Copies of current/ most recent Visa Stamp 0 Copies of I-94 Card (FRONT AND BACK)
  • Copies of all previous I-20s, DS-2019s, and/or O-1/O-3 I-797 Approval Notices
  • Copy of Employment Authorization Card, if currently working on Employment Authorization

2. Evidence of Extraordinary Ability - The international applicant must submit significant evidence of their extraordinary ability, detailed below.


3. O-3 Dependent Sponsorship. If a prospective O-1 employee has dependent family members (spouse or children) who are already in the U.S. who wish to either extend or obtain O-3 status, the prospective O-1 employee should submit the following to the Slutzker Center with his/her other materials:

  • Form I-539 (available on www.uscis.gov site) and check for $290 made payable to Department of Homeland Security
  • Copies of passport identification page, current/most recent Visa Stamp, I-94 Card (Front and Back), copies of all previous I-20s, DS-2019s, and/or O-1/O-3 I-797 Approval Notices


SLUTZKER CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICES:

  • Once the Slutzker Center for International Services receives the necessary information and supporting documents from the department and the applicant, the Slutzker Center can start processing the O-1 application.
  • The Slutzker Center will evaluate all submitted materials for the O-1 Application.
  • The Slutzker Center will create the I-129, O-1 Application Form, and compile and send the O-1 application, including the filing fee and offer of employment from the department and copies of all documents supplied by the applicant.

US CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES:

  • Once the USCIS receives the complete O-1 application and filing fee, they will send the Slutzker Center for International Services an I-797 Receipt Notice, which is an official notice indicating the date that the application was received and giving the applicant a receipt number. With the receipt number, the status of the application may be tracked on the USCIS website: www.uscis.gov.
  • When the O-1 petition is approved, USCIS will send the I-797 Approval Notice to the Slutzker Center for International Services. The applicant, the department, and Human Resources will be notified of the approval. The original O-1 I-797 Approval Notice will be given to the applicant, and copies will be kept on file at the SCIS and Human Resources.


ESTABLISHING EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY

Any applicant for O-1 must meet three basic requirements:

  1. The applicant has extraordinary ability within one of the five broad fields the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  2. The applicant’s ability has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.
  3. The applicant is coming to the U.S. to continue working in his or her area of extraordinary ability.

Extraordinary ability is defined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services as ability that shows a “person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”

ESTABLISHING EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY IN SCIENCE, EDUCATION, BUSINESS, AND ATHLETICS:

Basis A: Receipt of an award with the caliber of the Nobel Prize:

Anyone who has received a major internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize (not just a nomination) will satisfy the requirement of evidence for establishing extraordinary ability.

Basis B: Documentation showing extraordinary ability:

An O-1 applicant can also establish extraordinary ability by developing and submitting documentation in at least three (preferably four) of the categories listed below:

  • Receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in associations in the field in which the O-1 applicant claims extraordinary ability. Membership must require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievements;
  • Published material in professional publications written by others about the alien's work in the field in which the O-1 applicant claims extraordinary ability; •
  • Participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied field in which the O-1 applicant claims extraordinary ability;
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions in the field (as shown by letters of attestation and support from colleagues and other experts in the field);
  • Authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field or in other major media;
  • Evidence that the applicant has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that the applicant has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, as shown by contracts or letters of employment.


ESTABLISHING EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY IN THE ARTS:

Basis A: Receipt of an award with the caliber of the Academy Award, Grammy, Emmy, or Director’s Guild Award:

Anyone who has received a major internationally recognized award such as the Academy Award, Grammy, Emmy, or Director’s Guild Award (not just a nomination) will satisfy the requirement of evidence for establishing extraordinary ability.

Basis B: Documentation showing extraordinary ability:

An O-1 applicant can also establish extraordinary ability by developing and submitting documentation in at least three of the categories listed below:

  • Evidence that the applicant has and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions which have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that the applicant has and will perform in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Published material in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications written by others about the applicant’s achievements and national or international recognition;
  • Evidence of major or critically acclaimed successes as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;
  • Evidence that the applicant has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the applicant is engaged. (as shown by letters of attestation and support from colleagues and other experts in the field);
  • Evidence that the applicant has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, as shown by contracts or letters of employment.


ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE FROM THE DEPARTMENT:

The University must also seek the advisory opinion of an appropriate U.S. peer group and obtain a written advisory opinion regarding the nature of the work to be done and the O-1 applicants qualifications for the position. The Slutzker Center for International Services will assist with meeting this requirement.

CHANGE-OF-STATUS, TRANSFERS, AMENDMENTS, AND EXTENSIONS

HIRING AN INTERNATIONAL WHO IS IN J-STATUS (J-1 OR J-2)

If the O-1 applicant is currently in the U.S. in J-Visa status, it may be possible to petition for a change from J-Visa status to O-1. There is one important note when concerning applicants who are in J-Visa status - many J-Visa programs require the individual to complete a two-year home residency requirement [212(e) Rule] in the J-Visa holder’s home country. If the J-Visa holder is subject to the 212(e) rule, the Slutzker Center for International Services can submit the O-1 application, but the J-Visa holder cannot change status to O-1 within the United States. Instead, they will have to leave the United States after the O-1 application has been approved and apply for the O-1 Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Even by applying for the O-1 Visa and reentering the U.S. in O-1 status, the 212(e) two-year home residency requirement will remain in effect.

Separately, it is possible to get a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement through the Department of State and apply for the change-of-status to O-1 within the United States, but the waiver process takes a long time and must be granted before the Slutzker Center can process an O-1 change-of-status. More information about the 212(e) waiver requirements and processes are on the U.S. Department of State website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html. It is important to note that once a waiver of the 212(e) two-year home residency requirement has been approved, the J-Visa holder’s DS-2019 cannot be transferred or extended.


HIRING AN INTERNATIONAL WHO IS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES

If the applicant is outside of the U.S. with no current visa status, the applicant must submit all documents requested to the Slutzker Center for International Services. The O-1 Petition will be submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services for Consular Processing.

When the O-1 is approved, USCIS will cable the approval to the consular office abroad where the visa will be obtained by the applicant. The original I-797 approval notice for the O-1 will be sent to the Slutzker Center for International Services.

Prior to the applicant’s interview with the consular office, the Slutzker Center for International Services will send the O-1 applicant the original approval notice for the O-1 and a copy of the entire O-1 application packet which was sent to USCIS.

PORTABILITY OR CONCURRENT EMPLOYMENT UNDER O-1 – HIRING AN INTERNATIONAL WHO IS CURRENTLY IN O-1 STATUS WITH ANOTHER EMPLOYER

If the O-1 applicant is currently in the U.S. in O-1 status with another employer, it is NOT possible for the applicant to begin working for Syracuse University before the I-797, O-1 approval notice is received. According to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(o)(iv)(c) non-immigrants currently in O-1 status with one employer (other than Syracuse University) can begin employment with Syracuse University only when the final I-797 O-1 Approval has been received from USCIS. The Slutzker Center for International Services will authorize employment to begin as soon as the I-797 approval notice arrives.

The application process for an O-1 for portability/transfer or concurrent employment is exactly the same as it is for a new O-1 application.

AMENDING O-1 STATUS FOR A CURRENT EMPLOYEE OF SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

When there is a change in the duties or terms and conditions of employment of an O-1 worker, an amended I-129, O-1 application may be needed. A major change would be increased supervisory duties of other employees. Minor changes in the conditions of employment do not require the filing of an amended O-1 petition. Though, minor changes should be noted in any future extension of O-1 status. Minor changes would include a change of job title with no or minimal changes in job duties or an unsubstantial salary increase.

The application process for an O-1 amendment is exactly the same as it is for a new O-1 application.

Amended O-1 applications must be filed before the proposed change in status goes into effect. A change of duties or salary will not be approved until the Slutzker Center for International Services receives the I-797 receipt notice (the official notice of application receipt from USCIS).

EXTENDING O-1 STATUS FOR A CURRENT EMPLOYEE OF SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

According to 8 C.F.R. § 274a.12 (b) (20), if the O-1 applicant is currently in O-1 status with Syracuse University, it is possible for the applicant to continue working for Syracuse University for up to 240 days after the expiration of the current O-1 status as long as the O-1 extension was timely filed. Timely filing means that US Citizenship and Immigration Services must receive the I-129, O-1 application before the expiration of the current O-1. The Slutzker Center will authorize employment to continue as soon as the I-797 receipt notice (the official notice of application receipt from USCIS) arrives before the expiration of the current O-1.

The application process for an O-1 extension is exactly the same as it is for a new O-1 application.

If the O-1 extension is not filed before the expiration of the current O-1 status, employment must stop until the O-1 is approved and the I-797 approval notice is received by the Slutzker Center for International Services.