O-1 Visas: For people with Extraordinary Abilities

O-1 Visa is generally classified as:

  • O-1A: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
  • O-1B: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry
  • O-2: Individuals who will accompany an O-1 artist or athlete to assist in a specific event or performance and
  • O-3: Individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.

Sample professions for O-1A and O-1B

O-1A: Scientist, Researcher, Web Programmer, Data Analyst, Educator, Professor, Entrepreneur, Business Associate, Athlete, Doctor, Accountant and Engineer.

O-1B: Visual Artist, Musician, Actor, Dancer, Writer, Make-Up Artist, Chef, Stylist, Audio, Engineer, Film Director, Graphic Designer, Tattoo Artists, Sound Engineers, 3D Designers, Producers and Photographers.

The O-1 status can be granted for three years. After three years, it is possible to seek yearly extensions with no statutory limits to the total amount of time spent in the U.S. in O-1 status, though every case is unique. As long as you have a sponsor and employment in the U.S., you may be eligible for an extension. Keeping your documentation up to date will allow you to maintain your status by applying for extensions every year, assuming the circumstances remain the same.

Benefits of O-1 Visa

  • A well-recognized international award such as a Nobel Prize or Olympic medal
  • A less well-known award that is nationally or internationally recognized
  • A membership in an exclusive organization related to your field
  • Mentions of your published material in trade publications
  • Scholarly articles that you’ve written for your field
  • Other significant contributions to your field
  • Commanding a large salary
  • Sitting as a judge or on a panel of judges for your peers
  • Holding critical positions for esteemed organizations in your field

Explore More on:

O-1 Visa, Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

O-1 Visa Process

Documents Required for O-1 Visa