O-1 Visa (US entrepreneur Visa) is applicable to aliens with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business or athletics. This type of visa category gives work permit to qualified aliens and legal authorization to stay in the US. US Entrepreneur Visa has a tedious application procedure and it needs to be petitioned by a US employer or an agent on behalf of the applicant.

US Entrepreneur Visa Stay Period

O-1 visa petitioners are granted an initial period of stay for up to 3 years and the petition commences with the date approved by USCIS and ends on the date requested by the petitioner. The date is determined by USCIS based on the nature of work and the time estimated to complete the activity or work-related event. The time period granted cannot exceed more than 3 years unless the extension request is approved by USCIS. USCIS determines the extension based on the time necessary to accomplish the activity or event and the extension would be granted in the increments of up to to 1 year.

In most scenarios, O-1 petitioner is located outside of the US and would need an approval on an O-1 visa at a U.S. consulate. After the approval by USCIS on their O visa petition, they would still need an O-1 stamp on their passport by the US consulate which can be done either in their home country or any other third country.

US Entrepreneur Visa Timeline

U.S. Entrepreneur Visa Documentation

To obtain a US Entrepreneur visa following documents are required to be filed for the application:

  • Passport and pictures complying with the guidelines of the Department of State;
  • Form DS-156 which also referred to as the application for O-1;
  • Visa application fee of $325;
  • Form I-797 which is the approval notice for an O petition and a copy of O petition including all the supporting documentation.

The beneficiary is informed about the interview on the approval of their visa application by the consular office. The beneficiary then schedules the interview with the U.S. consulate where it is determined if they are eligible for an O-visa or not. Once the visa is granted, the passport is stamped and the Customs and Border Protection will make the final decision on the entry of the nonimmigrant with the O-1 visa status.

US Entrepreneur visa documentation

U.S. Entrepreneur Visa Extension

If the employer is applying for a US Entrepreneur visa extension, they do not have to start the process from scratch. The petitioner/ employer will only have to produce a document stating the purpose of extension and file for the application. Although, if the US Entrepreneur Visa beneficiary is requesting for O petition for a new employer or an O-1 visa extension for a different position with the same employer, such a scenario would be considered a new event and the applicant can be approved for an additional 3 years.

The O petition or the US entrepreneur visa is approved for certain work-related activities or events by the federal law. Such activities are defined as but are not limited to business projects, academic events, exhibitions, conferences, scientific projects, conventions, lecture workshops and engagement sessions, to name a few. Other activities that could qualify for the O petition include promotional activities like show or event appearances, mini vacations and short stopovers for an event or work-related activities.