O Visa

Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

INA §101(a)(15)(O)8 CFR §214.2(o)

The O-1 visa is a temporary work visa for foreign nationals who have “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.  Extraordinary ability means that a person has achieved a high level of expertise in a particular field.  In order to qualify for the visa, the aliens of extraordinary ability must demonstrate “sustained national or international acclaim” in their field of endeavor.

O-1 visa holders must be entering the United States to perform temporary services that require their expertise for a U.S. employer or an agent of an international employer.  The petition may not be filed more than six months before the services are needed.

O-1A is for Extraordinary Ability in the fields of Science, Education, Business, or Athletics –

Extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

O-1B is for Extraordinary Ability in the Arts –

Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

Time Limitation

The O-1 Visa is granted for an initial stay of three years; however, the Visa may be extended in one year increments for the duration of the foreign employee’s work in the United States. Unlike most of the temporary non-immigrant visas, there is no maximum length of stay in the U.S. for holders of the O-1 Visa.

Application Procedure

A person cannot apply for an O visa on their own behalf.  Generally, the employer or agent must petition for the alien with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Once the petition is approved, the person must then apply for an O-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.  An O-1 visa may be granted for up to three years.  O-1 visa status may be renewed in one-year increments, or until the project is finished.

O-1 General

O-1-General-new

Download MPLG’s O-1 Document Checklist. This contains a list of commonly requested documentation and information for O-1 petitions. You may not have every document itemized in this checklist, as it is intended as a guide of possible documents.

This Checklist contains information regarding:

  • Documents for O-1A in the fields of Science, Education, Business, or Athletics
  • Documents for O-1B in the Arts

Download MPLG’s List of The Prongs for O-1A. Extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. 

Check out our easy to read list of “The Prongs” that must be proven for the O-1A. To qualify for the O-1A the foreign national must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize; or
  • At least 3 of the achievements set forth in our list of prongs that you can download to the right.

Download MPLG’s List of the Prongs for O-1B. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

Check out our easy to read list of “The Prongs” that must be proven for the O-1B. To qualify for the O-1B the foreign national must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • Nomination for, or the Recipient of significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award; or
  • At least 3 of the achievements set forth in our list of prongs that you can download to the right.

Download MPLG’s O-1A Roadmap. This Roadmap set forth the timeline for effectively putting together a strong petition.

Download MPLG’s O-1B Roadmap. This Roadmap set forth the timeline for effectively putting together a strong petition.

Other Resources

Download MPLG’s Guidance for Expert Reference Letters. This guidance provides general pointers and a sample outline for an expert reference letter. A strong reference letter can be an integral part of the strategy for a strong O-1 petition. MPLG’s team can work with you to put together a persuasive petition. 

USCIS Memos

Draft USCIS O-1A Template. USCIS issued a draft template for an O-1A Request for Evidence. This provides helpful guidance on the issues that USCIS typically identifies. 

Draft USCIS O-1B Template. USCIS issued a draft template for an O-1B Request for Evidence. This provides helpful guidance on the issues that USCIS typically identifies. 

General

Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

INA §101(a)(15)(O)8 CFR §214.2(o)

The O-1 visa is a temporary work visa for foreign nationals who have “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.  Extraordinary ability means that a person has achieved a high level of expertise in a particular field.  In order to qualify for the visa, the aliens of extraordinary ability must demonstrate “sustained national or international acclaim” in their field of endeavor.

O-1 visa holders must be entering the United States to perform temporary services that require their expertise for a U.S. employer or an agent of an international employer.  The petition may not be filed more than six months before the services are needed.

O-1A is for Extraordinary Ability in the fields of Science, Education, Business, or Athletics –

Extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

O-1B is for Extraordinary Ability in the Arts –

Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

Time Limitation

The O-1 Visa is granted for an initial stay of three years; however, the Visa may be extended in one year increments for the duration of the foreign employee’s work in the United States. Unlike most of the temporary non-immigrant visas, there is no maximum length of stay in the U.S. for holders of the O-1 Visa.

Application Procedure

A person cannot apply for an O visa on their own behalf.  Generally, the employer or agent must petition for the alien with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Once the petition is approved, the person must then apply for an O-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.  An O-1 visa may be granted for up to three years.  O-1 visa status may be renewed in one-year increments, or until the project is finished.

O-1 General

O-1-General-new
Checklist

Download MPLG’s O-1 Document Checklist. This contains a list of commonly requested documentation and information for O-1 petitions. You may not have every document itemized in this checklist, as it is intended as a guide of possible documents.

This Checklist contains information regarding:

  • Documents for O-1A in the fields of Science, Education, Business, or Athletics
  • Documents for O-1B in the Arts

Download MPLG’s List of The Prongs for O-1A. Extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. 

Check out our easy to read list of “The Prongs” that must be proven for the O-1A. To qualify for the O-1A the foreign national must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize; or
  • At least 3 of the achievements set forth in our list of prongs that you can download to the right.

Download MPLG’s List of the Prongs for O-1B. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

Check out our easy to read list of “The Prongs” that must be proven for the O-1B. To qualify for the O-1B the foreign national must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • Nomination for, or the Recipient of significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award; or
  • At least 3 of the achievements set forth in our list of prongs that you can download to the right.
Roadmaps

Download MPLG’s O-1A Roadmap. This Roadmap set forth the timeline for effectively putting together a strong petition.

Download MPLG’s O-1B Roadmap. This Roadmap set forth the timeline for effectively putting together a strong petition.

FAQs
Other Resources & USCIS Resources

Other Resources

Download MPLG’s Guidance for Expert Reference Letters. This guidance provides general pointers and a sample outline for an expert reference letter. A strong reference letter can be an integral part of the strategy for a strong O-1 petition. MPLG’s team can work with you to put together a persuasive petition. 

USCIS Memos

Draft USCIS O-1A Template. USCIS issued a draft template for an O-1A Request for Evidence. This provides helpful guidance on the issues that USCIS typically identifies. 

Draft USCIS O-1B Template. USCIS issued a draft template for an O-1B Request for Evidence. This provides helpful guidance on the issues that USCIS typically identifies.