What is an O-1 visa?

The O-1 is a visa specifically designed for foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement or ability in their field, whether it be education, science, business, the arts, or sports. There are two categories within this visa:

  • O-1A Visa: For outstanding individuals in the field of science, business, sports, or education.
  • O-1B Visa: For individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts or in the film or television industry.

O-1 Visa Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an O-1 visa, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained acclaim, either national or international. You must also come temporarily to the United States to continue working in the area of your extraordinary ability.

  • For sciences, education, business, or sports, extraordinary ability means having achieved a high level of specialty to be considered part of the small percentage of persons in the highest sphere in their field.
  • For arts, extraordinary ability means to have distinction, or having achieved a degree of superior, prominent recognition. You must be renowned or well known in the field of arts.
  • For the motion picture or television industry, you must demonstrate an extraordinary degree of skill and recognition above that commonly encountered in the industry.
Extraordinary Ability Visa - O1 Visa Lawyer in Orlando

O-1 Visa application process

You and your petitioner must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, at least 45 days before the date of employment and add the following supporting documents:

An advisory opinion letter written by a peer group, or individuals designated by the group, with expertise in your field. If you have outstanding achievements in the film or television industry, the advisory opinion letter should come from an appropriate labor union or management organization with expertise in your field.

A copy of any written contract between you and the petitioner or a summary of the terms of the oral contract under which you will be employed, including, but not limited to, emails or any other evidence showing that an oral agreement was created.

The petitioner must also demonstrate that there will be events or activities in your field of expertise for the requested validity period, such as an itinerary of a tour.

O-class aliens cannot initiate the petition process themselves. Only a U.S. agent or employer may file the petition in the jurisdiction in which the alien will be conducting business.

Can my family join me if I receive an O-1 visa?

Yes, they can! If you obtain an O-1 visa, your spouse and children are eligible for admission under the O-3 status as long as you show proof of your relationship. While they may not engage in employment, the O-3 visa allows your family to attend school or college.

Are you interested in an O-1 visa? Contact our expert lawyer team!

Don't risk your application process! Call us today at 407-502-3000 or fill out the online form provided at the top of this page and our Orlando O-1 Visa lawyer will contact you soon. We can help you in English, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese.


Extraordinary Ability Visas