Individuals Of Extraordinary Ability O-1

O-1 visas are available to persons of “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. An employer or agent must sponsor the foreign national. An O-1 applicant must be able to demonstrate their extraordinary ability through documentation of sustained national or international acclaim in their field. Such documentation may include the following:

  • (a) receipt of nationally or internationally recognized awards
  • (b) membership in organization that requires outstanding achievement
  • (c) published materials about the applicant in professional or major trade publications
  • (d) judgment of the work of others
  • (e) original scientific or scholarly work of major significance in his or her field; (f) evidence of authorship of scholarly work
  • (g) evidence that s/he has been employed in a critical or essential capacity at an organization with a distinguished reputation
  • (h) has commanded or will command a high salary in relation to others in the field
  • In some cases, demonstrating extraordinary ability in particular fields does not easily fit it within the above criteria. For those individuals, the “comparable evidence” provision exists for USCIS to potentially accept equivalent forms of evidence not enumerated in the regulations.

Initial O-1 approval may be granted for up to 3 years. The O-1 may be extended indefinably thereafter in one-year increments. Spouses and minor children may accompany the O-1 to the United States in O-3 status. An O-3 dependent is not authorized for employment in the United States.

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