O-1 Visa Information

The O-1 Visa is set aside for aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.  In most cases, a U.S. company that wants to employ the alien must sponsor the alien for the visa.  However, the alien can work in the U.S. on an O-1 Visa without an employer if the alien has an agent in the U.S. who will serve as a sponsor for the visa and the alien identifies the specific events in which he or she will participate.

The O-1 Visa can be issued for up to three years.  Thereafter, the alien may apply for an unlimited number of extensions of the O-1 Visa in 1-year increments. 

During the time that an alien has an O-1 Visa, he or she also may apply for permanent residence (a green card) as either an “alien with extraordinary ability” or an “alien with exceptional ability.”  If the U.S. government determines that an alien is extraordinary for the O-1 visa, it usually finds that the alien is qualified for the green card.  However, there is no guarantee of this.

The spouse of the alien and any children under the age of 21 may live in the U.S. with the alien on an O-3 Visa.  The O-3 Visa does not allow the family members to work in the U.S.  Foreign workers who assist in the artistic or athletic performance of an O-1 alien may be permitted to work in the U.S. on an O-2 Visa.

In order to qualify as an alien with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business and athletics, the alien must prove that he or she is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of his or her field.  Generally, alien can prove this by providing at least three of the following forms of documentation:

In order to qualify as an alien with extraordinary ability in the arts, the alien must show he or she has achieved “distinction.”  This means that the alien can show skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the alien could be described as prominent, leading, or well known in the field of arts.  Generally, the alien must provide evidence from at least three of the following areas to prove his or her distinction:

In order to qualify as an alien with extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, the alien must be recognized as having a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement as evidenced by the following:

At least three of the following forms of documentation:

In order for us to determine whether an alien may qualify for an O-1 Visa, we need a detailed resume (curriculum vitae).  The resume should include ALL of the following information:

  1. Education and Specialized Training (include month and year started and ended each education experience, including university education AND any seminars or training workshops related to your field)
  2. Work Experience (include month and year started and ended each job, job title, summary of job duties)
  3. Seminar Participation (include name and date of any seminars or workshops in which you were a speaker or presenter to other people working in your field)
  4. Association Memberships, Licenses, and Coaching Credentials (list the name of the association or organization, whether you are a simply a member or have some kind of license or special credential from the organization, and list date that you became a member and/or earned your credential).
  5. Most Significant Accomplishments (list your five most significant accomplishments in your field, in other words, the five things in your career that you are most proud of).

In order to identify how the alien intends to prove extraordinary ability, we request that the alien circle the items on the appropriate list above that apply to his or her situation.  Please provide more information for each item circled.  In other words, if “news articles about the alien” is circled, please provide us with copies of these articles.  If possible, try to include the date and place of publication.

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