O-1 status is for individuals who 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 visa status. The VISA Office 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:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
- 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 individual has published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the the individual, relating to their 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 individual’s original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
- Evidence of the individual's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals or other major media;
- Evidence the individual has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
- Evidence the individual has commanded 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.
- An initial petition period cannot exceed three (3) years.
- If the O-1 applicant is currently in J-1 visa status and the individual is subject to the two-year home residence requirement, they are required to depart the U.S. and apply for an O-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad--they cannot change status to O-1 inside the U.S.
- The petition must include peer group/individual consultation from practitioners in the beneficiary’s field.
For additional information regarding O-1 visa status, visit the USCIS website.
How to Begin the O-1 Visa Process
- Email the VISA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. The VISA Office will reach out to request additional information.
- Secure initial appointment for at least one year but not more than three years (Dean’s letter of appointment).
- Obtain Peer Group consultation that evaluates the prospective O-1’s abilities and achievements
Please note that Departments are responsible for obtaining CWRU check(s) from accounts payable for filing fees and premium processing fees.
If you have any further questions about the process, please email the VISA Office at email@example.com.