National Immigration Project

O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa

The O-1 Extraordinary Ability visa is available to foreign nationals who have "extraordinary ability" in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which is demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. O-1 visas are also available for foreign nationals in motion picture and television productions. In addition, the foreign national must be coming to the U.S. to continue work in the area of their extraordinary ability. Extraordinary ability is defined as a very high level of expertise recognized in their field of endeavor. Note that different evidentiary criteria apply to different fields of endeavor.

The O visa exists for foreign nationals who will accompany the artist or athlete to assist in a specific event or performance.

The O-1 visa may be an option for a foreign national who is already in the U.S. in J-1 exchange visitor status and is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement.

Family Members

The O-1 visa holder's spouse and unmarried children, who are under twenty-one (21) years of age, are eligible for the O-3 non-immigrant visa. The spouse and children are not authorized for employment in the U.S. in O-3 visa status.

Validity Period

The validity of the O-1 visa depends upon the period of time necessary to accomplish the activity. The maximum period of stay is three years. The petitioner may request an extension of stay to continue or complete the same event or activity by filing the appropriate documentation with USCIS.

Evidentiary Requirements for the O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa
  • Evidence that the foreign national has attained national or international recognition for their achievements
  • Evidence that the foreign national has received recognitions for their achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the foreign national is engaged
  • Evidence that the foreign national has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remunerations for rendering services in relation to others in their field of endeavor
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishmentsthat have a distinguished reputation
  • Detailed written agreement between the employer and the foreign national
  • A written advisory opinion from a U.S. peer group, labor or management organization with connection to the nature of work to be done and the foreign national's qualifications in that field
At The Ahluwalia Firm, Our Emphasis is on
  • Providing zealous representation before the USCIS
  • Providing careful review of your personal circumstances
  • Providing careful coordination of all correspondence with government agencies
  • Ensuring a service-delivery model that meets and exceeds your satisfaction

For additional information about our ability to help, prepare, and file all the necessary documents required to apply for the O-1 Extraordinary Ability visa, the O-2 visa, or the O-3 visa,contact us for reliable advice.

Source: USCIS Website

Client Reviews
Dear Mr. Ahluwalia, I would like to thank you for all your help with Dr. xxx case. She and I were very impressed with your services and the professionalism that you showed both of us. I am referring you to a very good friend of mine who is opening a manufacturing plant and wants to bring his brother in as a partner/investor/employee from Italy. I am forwarding your information for xxxx to contact you and make arrangements accordingly. Thank you for all your help. Dr. F.
Inderjit, thank you so very much. I sincerely appreciate all the effort you took to get this approved and your incredible patience. As xxx mentioned, we will only work with you for all our future H1's. Thanks once again. Sujaya