The O-1 Visa is reserved for those with Extra-ordinary ability in the Sciences,
Arts, Education, Business or Athletics and for those who have demonstrated records
of extraordinary achievement in the Motion Picture or Television Industry. To be
considered an outstanding individual, an applicant should be highly regarded in
their particular field, and may only work in the U.S. in that specific area of expertise.
The O-1 Visa is for outstanding individuals. This visa enables individuals with
extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, motion
picture and television industry to enter the U.S. for temporary periods of time.
USCIS loosely defines this category, and the spectrum of eligible individuals also
includes chefs, carpenters and lecturers. The O-1 Visa must be petitioned by a US
employer, U.S. agent or foreign employer through a U.S. agent.
The spouse and/or unmarried children under the age of 21 may join the applicant
in the U.S. under O-3 status. While they may not work while in the U.S., immediate
family members are allowed to attend school or college.
To qualify for an O-1 in the Sciences, Education, Business or Athletics, a person
must demonstrate either of the following:
- Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award (e.g. the Nobel Prize), or
- At least three (3) of the following apply to him/her:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
in his/her field.
- Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements
of its members, as judged by national or international experts in the field.
- Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about
the person, concerning the person’s work in the field.
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the
- Scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in
- Authorship of scholarl articles in the field in professional journals or other major
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments
that have a distinguished reputation.
- High salary or other remuneration commanded by the person for services