Specialty Categories

Extraordinary Ability

O-1A Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability

The O-1A nonimmigrant visa is for an individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.


Q: How do you qualify for an O-1A?
A: To qualify for an O-1 visa, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim in the fields of science, education, business or athletics (sports).

Q: What does “Extraordinary Ability” mean?

A: Extraordinary ability means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percent who has risen to the very top of your field. 

O-1B Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement in the Arts

shall be granted to a foreigner, if the applicant: 

(a)proves the existence of close relatives (parent, spouse, brother, sister, child, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild) in the Republic of Armenia and 

(b) has an accommodation and means of subsistence in the Republic of Armenia; 

(c) has resided in the Republic of Armenia as prescribed by law for at least three years prior to filing an application for obtaining permanent residence status. 


Permanent residence status may be granted also to a foreigner of Armenian origin or to a foreigner carrying out entrepreneurial activities in the Republic of Armenia. 


The conditions referred to in point (b) of this part shall be considered sufficient, where the foreigner has means sufficient to cover his or her subsistence expenses and the subsistence expenses of his or her family members under his or her care, or has a family member or members who are able and have undertaken to provide means for his or her living. 


An application with the list of documents prescribed by  N 134 Decree of the Government of the RA 07.02.2008 for obtaining temporary or permanent residence status shall be filed with the public administration body authorized in the field of police of the Republic of Armenia.



The decision on granting or refusing to grant temporary and permanent residence status shall be adopted by the public administration body authorized in the field of police of the Republic of Armenia, within a term of 30 days following the day of filing the application.


In case of absence from the Republic of Armenia for more than six months, a foreigner holding permanent residence status shall notify thereon in writing the public administration body authorized in the field of police of the Republic of Armenia. 

P-1 Athlete, Artist or Entertainer

The P-1A is a nonimmigrant visa for an individual who is coming temporarily to the United States solely for the purpose of performing at a specific athletic competition as:


  • An individual athlete at an internationally recognized level of performance;
  • Part of a group or team at an internationally recognized level of performance;
  • A professional athlete; or 
  • An athlete or coach, as part of a team or franchise that is located in the United States and a member of a foreign league or association.


The P-1A classification also applies to professional or amateur athletes coming temporarily to the United States solely to perform in a specific theatrical ice skating production or tour, individually or as part of a group.

The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally, having a high level of achievements. 
At least 75% of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.

Exchange Programs, Students and Religious Workers

J-1 Exchange Visitors

The J-1 Visa offers cultural and educational exchange opportunities in the United States through a variety of programs overseen by the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

The DOS plays a primary role in administering the J-1 classification and designates certain public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. These programs are designed to promote the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills, within the fields of education, arts, and science.

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, are entitled to J-2 classification. The spouse may apply for employment authorization with the submission of the form I-765.


Q: Do I need to have a program sponsor before I can apply for the J-1 visa?

A: . Before you are allowed to apply for a J-1 visa, you are required to have a program sponsor and be accepted in an Exchange Visitor Program. The J-1 program categories include:

  • Professors or scholars
  • Research assistants
  • Students
  • Trainees
  • Teachers
  • Specialists
  • Au Pairs
  • Camp counselors

Q: Where do I apply for a J-1 visa after being accepted to the program?

A: You will apply at the U.S. Embassy in Israel after you have been accepted in an Exchange Visitor Program. The sponsor will provide a Form DS-2019 for each of the J-1 and J-2 visa holders, which is required at the time of visa processing.

Q Cultural Exchange

The Q-1 classification is a nonimmigrant visa intended for participants in an international cultural exchange program with a designated U.S. employer. The Q cultural exchange program is for the purpose of providing practical training and employment, and sharing the history, culture, and traditions of your home country with the United States.


Q: What is the difference between a J-1 and a Q-1 visa?

A: The employer of a Q-1 applicant, must prove that it maintains an established international cultural exchange program approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) while the J-1 visa program is approved by the Department of State.0

Q: Can my spouse and child join me?

A: The Q nonimmigrant classification is limited to the visa beneficiary and does not have a provision for the spouse or children to accompany or follow to join a Q-1 nonimmigrant. Therefore, any spouse or children must qualify for another nonimmigrant classification for which they may be eligible

F-1 & M-1 Students

The F-1 Student Visa allows you to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program. 


Q: What are the requirements for a student visa?

A: You must be enrolled in a program or course of study that culminates in a degree, diploma, or certificate and your school must be authorized by the U.S. government to accept international students.

Q: What is an F-2 visa?

A: F2 is a nonimmigrant dependent visa which allows the immediate family members of an F1 student visa holder to relocate to the United States. The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of F1 student visa holders are eligible for an F2 visa to enter and live in the U.S. The F-2 visa holder does not qualify for employment authorization, but does allow academic study.


Q: How long is a student visa valid for?

A: You may remain in the U.S. as long as you are enrolled in the school to complete your academic program. After the program ends you will have 60 days to depart the U.S. 


Q: What is the difference between an M-1 visa and an F-1 visa? 

A: The M-1 visa (Vocational Student) category includes students in vocational or other non-academic programs, other than language training.

R-1 Religious Workers

The R-1 non-immigrant visa is intended for a visitor who is coming to the United States temporarily to be employed as a minister or in another religious vocation or religious occupation by a non-profit religious organization in the United States; a religious organization that is tied to any religious denomination in the U.S, or a religious organization which has a group tax exemption.


Q: What are requirements for an R-1 visa?

A: To qualify, you must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least two years immediately before the filing of the petition.

Q: Can my spouse and/or children obtain visas as dependents?

A: Yes, the spouse and/or children of an individual who holds an R-1 visa may obtain R-2 visas as the principal holder’s dependents. Individuals in the R-2 status may not work in the U.S., but they may study.

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