IT Professional’s O-1 Visa Application Approved Within a Week

Mr. Gao* contacted our firm about applying for an O-1 visa in early November 2007. He was interested in an O-1 visa because he wanted to keep working at his current job after his J visa expired.

Like H-1B visas, O-1 visas are non-immigrant visas issued to aliens who wish to work in the United States temporarily. However, unlike H-1B visas, O-1 visas are not subject to any quota.

Instead, O-1 applicants must prove that they possess extraordinary ability in the field they plan to work in (science, the arts, education, business, or athletics). This tradeoff makes O-1 visas a great option for non-immigrants with strong professional or academic accomplishments.

In Mr. Gao’s case, an H-1B was not a viable option because it would not allow him to work under H-1B until October 1, 2008. Mr. Gao’s J visa expired on January 5, 2008, so switching to an H-1B would have interrupted his work. Moreover, he would have had to maintain a valid status between his current status expiration and October 1, 2008, when his H-1B status would become effective. An O-1 visa, on the other hand, would allow him to avoid any interruptions—as long as he could successfully demonstrate that he had extraordinary ability in his field.

On November 8, Mr. Gao sent an email message describing his situation to He attached his CV and asked Attorney Jerry Zhang if an O-1 visa would be appropriate for him, considering his background and accomplishments. In particular, Mr. Gao was worried about the strength of his case, because he had few publications and no Ph.D.

Mr. Gao had come to the United States after completing initial graduate studies in China. He had obtained an M.S. in Computer Science from a U.S. university, and for the past few years, he had been working as an IT consultant and software engineer for various private companies in the United States.

Furthermore, before coming to the United States, Mr. Gao had authored one publication in the field of computer science, and it had appeared in a top Chinese journal. Mr. Gao was also responsible for a total of three patent applications, one of which had been approved.

Attorney Zhang responded to Mr. Gao that evening and told him that the firm was willing to take his case. Because Mr. Gao’s situation was urgent, he retained our firm right away, and our staff got straight to work preparing his case.

Mr. Gao’s recommendation letters and petition letter were ready at the beginning of December. We filed his case on December 7, less than one month after he contacted and retained our firm. Because Mr. Gao needed a response as soon as possible, he decided to file his application with premium processing. This option guaranteed that he would receive a response within 15 days.

In fact, Mr. Gao’s case was approved on December 14, within a single week. Mr. Gao was so pleased with these results that he immediately asked our firm about handling his green-card application as well.

We were happy to hear that Mr. Gao’s case had been approved, and to offer him our services for his green-card application and any other immigration-related needs. Results like Mr. Gao’s are what we at Zhang & Associates work for every day. No matter what our clients’ goals are, we work hard toward achieving them—and there’s nothing we love better than a happy ending like this one.

If you are considering applying for an O-1 visa, or debating between an O-1 and H-1B, you can email us at One of our experienced immigration attorneys will evaluate your case and respond to you, usually within 24 hours.


*To protect our clients’ privacy, all of their identifying information has been changed.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nation-wide in all aspects of U.S immigration laws. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM and I-485 cases. In the past twelve years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.   

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