Foreign-born entrepreneurs are critical to the advancement of the U.S. emerging technology industry. There are a number of visa options, both immigrant and non-immigrant visas, available to entrepreneurs and investors in the emerging tech space (see my previous blog post “Visa Options for Immigrants in the Emerging Tech Space” outlining these). This post will offer an overview of the O-1 visa, a non-immigrant visa.
There are two types of O-1 visas with the O-1A visa being reserved for those who can demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (the O-1B visa is reserved for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in film or television). Some of the most significant tech innovation is attributed to foreign nationals in the United States. A foreign national who develops or invents new technology may be eligible for the O-1 visa based on their extraordinary abilities in science or business.