The O-1 visa is for the individual who has extraordinary ability in the fields of sciences, education, business, arts or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the television industry or the motion picture and has been recognized for the achievement nationally or internationally.
The O nonimmigrant visa contains four categories:
The O-1 visa petition must be filed by the U.S. employer on behalf of the beneficiary. The O-1 visa holders are allowed to work temporarily in the United States to perform the related areas of extraordinary abilities if the O-1 visa petition is approved. The requirements for the four categories of the O nonimmigrant visas are different.
Individuals in the fields of science, education, business or athletics need to demonstrate that their levels of expertise are one of the small percentage and are on the top of the field of endeavors.
Individuals in the fields of arts need to demonstrate that they made a high level of achievement with their skills and knowledge, and such person is well-known, renowned and leading in the fields.
Individuals in the fields of motion picture or television industry need to demonstrate the achievement they made with the skills and knowledge is significantly recognized as notable, leading and outstanding in the fields.
Visa Petition Process
Step 1: The employer files a visa petition (Form I-129) with USCIS on behalf of the beneficiary with the following evidence:
O-1A: Demonstrate the beneficiary received nationally-recognized or internationally-recognized awards or at least three evidences of the following:
O-1B: Demonstrate the beneficiary received or has been nominated for significant national or international awards in the field or at least three evidences of the following:
Step 2: Upon the approval of the visa petition (Form I-129), USCIS will send a Notice of Action (Form I-797) to the employer. The beneficiary can apply for the O nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy.
If the individual is outside the U.S.
If the alien is outside the US, the Notice of Action (Form I-797) can be used to apply for a visa at a U.S. Consulate. The individual and his/her immediate family members will be required to attend an interview at the Consulate where the data that was submitted will be verified. Upon successful completion of the interview in Step 2 above, the individual may enter the U.S. to perform the related areas of extraordinary abilities and can generally stay until the expiration date on the visa.
For more information about O visa, you may check U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ web page: