O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
The O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement is a U.S. nonimmigrant visa that allows individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics or who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and have been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements to live and work in the United States. The O-1 Visa allows the beneficiary to temporary come to the United States together with their spouse and children to continue to work in the area of extraordinary ability.
In order to be eligible to apply for an O-1 Visa, the foreign Beneficiary must meet certain minimum requirements including:
- The Beneficiary must show extraordinary ability through national or international recognition and must come to the United States to continue working in the area of the Beneficiary’s extraordinary ability.
- Individual with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics means an individual with a level of expertise that indicates that he or she is one of the small percentage of individuals who have risen to the top in the area of extraordinary ability.
- Individual with extraordinary achievement in arts and motion picture or television industry means an individual with a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts and recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field, respectively.
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The evidence necessary for the O-1 Visa to demonstrate that the foreign beneficiary is an individual with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics includes receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or evidence of at least (3) three of the following:
- Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of extraordinary ability
- Membership in associations in the field of beneficiary’s excellence which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field
- Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field of excellence
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field of extraordinary ability
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field of beneficiary’s excellence
- A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
- Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field of extraordinary ability
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
- Other comparable evidence
The foreign beneficiary alien may establish qualification for extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry through evidence of nomination or receipt of a major, national or international recognized award such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award. In absence of such an award an applicant can establish himself or herself as a qualifying applicant through at least three (3) of the following types of evidence:
- Having been or will be performing a lead or starring role in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation (as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, press releases, publications contracts, or endorsements);
- Critical reviews or other published material in professional or major trade publication or in the major media by or about the alien which show that the alien has achieved national or international recognition or achievements;
- Evidence of performance in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations or establishments with distinguished reputations;
- Evidence of a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.
- Evidence of significant recognition for achievements form organizations, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field;
- Evidence of having commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services in relation to others; and
- Other comparable evidence
As an O nonimmigrant, the beneficiary may be admitted to the United States for an initial period of up to three years and the O-1 Visa may be renewed in one-year increments.