O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

If you posses extraordinary ability in science, business, education or athletics and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. You may also be eligible if you possess extraordinary ability in the arts or have attained extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

The O nonimmigrant classification is broken down as follows:

  1. O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education,business, or athletics.
  2. O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.
  3. O-2: individuals who will assist an O-1, using critical skills or experience not of a general nature. For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1’s activities. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to completion of the O-1’s production.
  4. O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s.

Qualifications of O-1 A Visa:

  1. A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability;
  2. A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which you will be employed;
  3. An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities;
  4. Evidence that you have received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least three of the following:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
    • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts
    • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about you and your work in the field for which classification is sought
    • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
    • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
    • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
    • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
    • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation

Duration of Stay for O-1 Visa

An O-1 visa may be granted for up to three years. O-1 visa status may be renewed in one year increments, or until the project is finished.

Family of O-1 and O-2 Visa Holders

They may not work in the United States under this classification, but they may engage in full or part time study on an O-3 visa.