O-1 Visas

The O-1 visa has been designated for individuals that can demonstrate they have achieved extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. Find out if you qualify for an O-1 visa as an extraordinary professional.

What are the O-1 visa categories?

There are several visa classifications that fall under the O-1 visa. The categories included in the O-1 visa are:

  • O-1A Visa: This category is designated for individuals that are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics
  • O-1B Visa: This category is designated for individuals that are able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry
  • O-2 Visa: This category is designated for individuals who will accompany an O-1 artist or athlete to assist in a specific event or performance
  • O-3 Visa: This category is designated for the spouse or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders

What are the criteria for the O-1A visa?

In general, to qualify for the O-1A visa category the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary:

  • Has extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics, which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim;
  • Has achievements that have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation; and
  • Is coming to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability (but not necessarily that the particular duties to be performed require someone of such extraordinary ability).

What does extraordinary ability for an O-1A visa mean?

The extraordinary ability for the purposes of an O-1A visa means a level of expertise indicating that you are one of the small percentages of professionals who have arisen to the very top of your field. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts. This is evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that you are prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

What are the criteria for the O-2 visa in support of an O-1A visa holder?

To qualify for an O-2 visa in support of an O-1A visa holder, your assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A visa holder’s performance and you must have critical skills and experience with the O-1 visa holder that are not of a general nature and cannot be readily performed by a US worker.

What are the criteria for the O-1B visa?

In general, to qualify for the O-1B visa category the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary:

  • Has extraordinary ability in the arts which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim;
  • Has achievements that have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation; and
  • Is coming to work in the area of extraordinary ability (but not necessarily that the particular duties to be performed require someone of such extraordinary ability).

What does extraordinary ability for an O-1B visa mean?

The extraordinary ability for the purposes of the O-1B visa in the motion picture or television industry is evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that you are recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.

What are the criteria for the O-2 visa in support of an O-1B visa holder?

To qualify for an O-2 visa in support of an O-1B visa holder, you must have skills and experience with the O-1 visa holder that are not of a general nature and which are critical either based on a pre-existing longstanding working relationship or, with respect to the specific production, because significant production (including pre-and post-production work) will take place both inside and outside the United States and your continuing participation is essential to the successful completion of the production.

Temporary Work Visas

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