O-1 Status

O-1 status is are for individuals that demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim for extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.

Eligibility & Supporting Documentation

Individuals coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in their area of extraordinary ability may qualify for O-1 Visas. Outside counsel will need to make an assessment and determine O-1 status eligibility.  This typically requires receipt of a major, internationally recognized award (e.g., the Nobel Prize) or at least three of the following forms of documentation:

  • Alien’s receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • 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;
  • Evidence the alien has 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 authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media;
  • Evidence the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence the alien has commanded and now commands a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

Below, please find a few key notes on O-1 status and petitions.

  1. An initial petition period cannot exceed three (3) years with assured funding.
  2. If the individual is seeking a Change of Status from a J-1 visa when an individual is subject to the two-year home residency requirement, a beneficiary is required to depart the U.S. and apply for an O-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
  3. The petition must include peer group/individual consultation from practitioners in the beneficiary’s field.

How to Begin the O-1 Visa Process

  1. Email the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services (IHRS) at visa@case.edu as soon as possible. Include: (1) the O-1 recommendation form and (2) the name of the supervisor and/or department admin who will be collecting the documentation. IHRS will assign to outside counsel for processing, who will reach out.
  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

Please note that Departments are no longer responsible for obtaining CWRU check(s) from accounts payable for filing fees and premium processing fees. Rather, the OPR will be provided and a journal entry will be done transferring the funds for filing fees, premium processing, and FedEx charges. 

If you have any further questions about the process, please email the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services at visa@case.edu.