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USCIS Updates Policy Guidance on O Petitions

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today published a new section (PDF, 296.54 KB) in the USCIS Policy Manual relating to the O nonimmigrant classifications. O-1 nonimmigrant status is available for aliens of “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, business, education, and athletics, and aliens with a record of “extraordinary achievement” in the motion picture or television industry, who are coming to the United States temporarily to work in their area of ability or achievement. O-2 nonimmigrant status is available for essential support personnel coming solely to assist an O-1 artist or athlete. 

The new section expands guidance on evaluating O-1 eligibility, including how officers determine if the petitioner has satisfied the evidentiary criteria and established that the beneficiary has extraordinary ability or extraordinary achievement, as applicable. It also clarifies when a petitioner may rely upon “comparable evidence” to meet the requirements for certain O-1 beneficiaries. 

USCIS is also incorporating existing guidance relating to certain nonimmigrant athletes, coaches and entertainers (otherwise known as the P-1, P-2, and P-3 nonimmigrant classifications), and their essential support personnel into the Policy Manual.

For more information, see the USCIS Policy Manual.

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