O-1 Visa

O-1 Extraordinary Ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.

  1. Faculty and/or Chairmen are requested to schedule an appointment with IHRS for determination. (Please fill out the O-1 recommendation form.)
  2. Secure initial appointment for at least one year but not more than three years (Dean’s letter of appointment).
  3. Obtain Peer Group consultation that evaluates the prospective O-1’s abilities and achievements.
  4. Complete supporting documentation requirements.

“Extraordinary Ability” is demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

  1. Change of Status from J-1 (2 year rule) to O-1 prohibited. Beneficiary is required to depart the U.S. and apply for O-1 at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
  2. Petition must include peer group/individual consultation from practitioners in the beneficiary’s field.
  3. Initial petition period not to exceed three years with assured funding (first time as an O-1 for any employer).
  4. Position must require services of a person of extraordinary ability (salary commensurate).


Supporting Documentation Required for O-1 Petition:

Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize or at least three of the following forms of documentation:

  • Documentation of the alien’s receipt of nationally or internationally-recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which the classification is sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such published material, and any necessary translation;
  • Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other Case Visa Processing Manual Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services Page 7 major media;
  • Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that the alien has commanded and now commands a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.