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Medical doctors should consider the potential of an O-1A visa

For those citizens of other countries who wish to accept job offers in the United States, getting a visa can be more difficult than getting the actual job. Competition for most visas is quite stiff, especially for the more popular forms. For example, the most popular and common employment visa, the H-1B visa, is often used for those who work in highly skilled fields, including medicine and research.

Despite growing demand for international experts and professionals, there are still only 85,000 H-1B visas awarded every year in the United States. That can leave countless professionals, including doctors and surgeons, unable to secure a visa for a position with a hospital, research facility or university. Thankfully, there may be another option for those who truly excel in their field.

The O-1A visa is a viable alternative for the exceptional candidate

If you have demonstrated an extraordinary level of ability in medicine or another scientific field, you could qualify for this special visa. The government reserves O-1A visas for those who have extraordinary abilities or achievements in their respective fields.

Only certain people in specific careers may even apply for an O-1 visa. For an O-1A visa, those fields include the sciences, education, business and athletics. O-1B visas can help those with extraordinary abilities in the arts, television or the film industry. Surgeons, drug and treatment researchers and other skilled doctors may qualify for an O-1A visa for entry into the United States.

Your immediate family members, including your children and spouse, can also apply for special O-3 visas. Securing these visas can ensure that your family remains intact and that you have adequate social support while performing your new job in the United States.

Be prepared to demonstrate your expertise for this visa

In order to receive an O-1A visa, you must have the ability to show how your ability level qualifies as extraordinary. Awards, acclaim in the media, articles published in scientific journals and information about your contributions in your field can all help build the case for your candidacy for this specialized visa program.

Generally, you need to have an internationally recognized award or have achieved national or international excellence in your field. Membership in special associations for those with high achievement in your industry, participation on panels, scholarly contributions in major journals and publication of your research can solidify your case for a visa.

There are other considerations, including the need for a special consultant from your field to evaluate your credentials and the merit of your claim to extraordinary skills or achievement. Usually, your potential employer can help you with some of the steps involved in the complex process of obtaining a visa or recommend an attorney well-versed in these matters.

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