Disclaimer: Immigration policies change over time. It is important to consult an attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information on visas.
Purpose: The O-1 visa was designed to allow individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, art, education, business, athletics, motion picture, or television. These abilities must be recognized nationally or internationally.
Types of O-1 visas:
a. O-1A visas are for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, business, athletics, or education.
b. O-1B visas are for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the arts, motion picture, or television industry.
a. Abilities: You must demonstrate abilities that have garnered sustained national or international recognition. This can be shown via awards, recognitions, membership to prestigious organizations, published works, or other relevant documentation.
b. Field: Your abilities must be in a specific field of expertise, such as the ones mentioned above.
c. Recognition: You must show advisory opinions from a peer group, labor organization, or fellow expert in your field that support your O-1 visa application.
Application: This Visa requires an employer or sponsor in the United States to file a petition on your behalf. Once that petition is approved you may then begin the application process of the actual visa.
Duration: The initial period of stay granted on an O-1 Visa is typically three years. Extensions can then be granted on a yearly basis as long as the visa holder continues to fulfill the eligbility requirements.
Dependents: Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible for O-3 visas which allow them to accompany the O-1 visa holder to the United States. An O-3 visa holder is not permitted to work in the United States.