O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa is applicable for foreign nationals who have “extraordinary ability” in the sciences arts, education, business, or athletics who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. 

What are the requirements for an O-1 visa?

O-1 petitioners should initially file Form I-129 and its O Supplement with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Regional Service Center. The following evidences must be included in the application: 

  • Documentation of extraordinary ability or extraordinary achievement in a field covered by the O-1 category;
  • Evidence regarding O-2’s “integral” or “essential” role;
  • The employment/agency relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary including relevant contracts;
  • 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;
  • A peer group consultation or evidence regarding a lack of an appropriate peer group;
  • Information on the proposed itinerary or event schedule;
  • O-3 petitions for dependent family members.

What is an extraordinary ability and extraordinary achievement?

Extraordinary ability or extraordinary achievement can be demonstrated if an individual received an internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize, and for a likewise tiny group, distinction in arts can be demonstrated such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy, or Director’s Guild Award. 

For foreign individuals with extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics, three (3) of the following requirements must be presented: 

  • Documentation of the alien’s receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought, which includes the title, date, and author of such published material, and any necessary translation;
  • Evidence of the alien’s participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization to that for which classification is sought;
  • Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media; 
  • Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
  • If the criteria above do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility.

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