Immigration Lawyer: O-1 Visa Process & the Consultation Requirement

To secure an O visa for extraordinary ability, you must prove that you are one of the best in the world at what you do—whether you are an artist, athlete, model, entertainer, or television producer. As if this wasn’t challenging enough, you also have to supply U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) with a number of other supporting documents. One of the requirements of the O visa application is a “consultation.” 

What is the O-1 visa consultation requirement? ​

Before the USCIS will approve your application Form I-129, the petition for a nonimmigrant worker, they also require several other supplementary documents, such as your proposed travel itinerary and a copy of the contract you hold between you and your beneficiary. In addition, the federal organization requires something they call a consultation or peer group consultation. 

Simply put, a consultation is a written advisory from a peer group, a labor organization, a peer group, or another official with special knowledge of the applicant’s field and qualifications. The consultation contains an opinion from this group, organization, or person who confirms that the person in question has an extraordinary ability, and that the nature of their proposed work in the United States is sound. The consultation must prove that not only is the O visa applicant talented, but that he or she also stands out among the peer group. 

The USCIS has special consultation requirements for those working in the film industry or in television production: “If the O-1 petition is for an individual with extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television, the consultation must come from an appropriate labor union and a management organization with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability.”

If the O-1 visa applicant does not have an appropriate peer group or labor organization to turn to for the required consultation advisory opinion, they must simply prove as much in their application. Providing false or misleading information in the consultation advisory is a serious offense with serious consequences. 

Vaughan de Kirby
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San Francisco California EB-5 Investment Immigration Attorney