The Process and Fee of the O-1A Extraordinary Ability Visa
In general, it takes USCIS between 4-6 months from the time an application is filed to process an O-1A petition.
After receiving the client’s approval, we will submit the completed application package to the USCIS Service Center. USCIS will then issue an official notice acknowledging that it has received your application.
Usually, USCIS will issue a receipt within a week or two of submission, and we will provide our clients with a copy of this receipt as soon as we get it. From there, the application will process with the government based on the chosen submission method, either under regular or premium processing.
In general, it takes USCIS between 4-6 months from the time an application is filed to process an O-1A petition. This is just an estimated timeframe, and USCIS updates estimates regarding current processing times at https://www.uscis.gov/.
From there, USCIS can do one of the following after reviewing a petition:
- Approve the case. If your application is approved, USCIS will mail an approval notice in Form I-797.
- Issue a Request for Additional Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). If the USCIS officer reviews your case and decides that there is insufficient evidence for approval, the officer can ask you to provide additional evidence to support specific points in the application. Generally, USCIS allows up to 84 days to respond to an RFE and a NOID.
- Deny your application without an RFE or a NOID. If this occurs, a client can request that USCIS reopens their case or appeal the decision to an Appeals Board.
After the case is approved, USCIS will mail the attorney an approval notice. Once the client has the approval notice in hand, they can work in the U.S., secure a social security number, and could next pursue an Immigrant Visa or green card.
- If filing within the U.S., the applicant will file form I-129 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker. The fee is $460.
- The application is eligible for premium processing for an additional $2,500.
- If the applicant will be seeking their O-1A Visa at a U.S. consulate, the visa application fee is $190.
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