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.


Individuals coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in their area of extraordinary ability may qualify for O-1 Visas. Our department will need to make an assessment of the individual’s CV and position in order to determine O-1 status eligibility.  Below, please find a few key notes on O-1 status and petitions.

  1. An initial petition period cannot exceed three years with assured funding.
  2. Change of Status from J-1 when an individual is subject to the two-year home residency requirement is O-1.  In these cases, 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 Complete an Appointment

  1. Faculty and/or Chairmen are requested to schedule an appointment with IHRS for determination. 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.
  5. Obtain a CWRU check(s) made payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" for all applicable filing fees.
    1. $460 - Base fee, always needed
    2. $2,500 - Optional premium processing fee. This will provide our office a response to the petition within 15 business days.

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:

  • Information Needed from Foreign National: Fill out the O-1 Foreign Visitor Information Form
  • 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 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.