O-1 Individuals of extraordinary Ability

The O1 visa is a non-immigrant visa classification for foreign nationals who can demonstrate the sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. An individual seeking an O1 visa must have a sponsor. This means the US employer must offer an alien employment.  It requires the US employer file a petition for a nonimmigrant worker, along with evidence of the individual’s extraordinary ability meaning a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. 

The individuals must have “extraordinary ability” in their field of expertise. Such ability must be extensively documented and substantiated through awards, media attention received, and association with other renowned experts in the same field, and/or innovation or major contributions in the specific field of expertise among other forms of proof. National and/or international acclaim of the individual is important in establishing extraordinary ability.

O1 visa or status is valid for up to 3 years, with 1 year incremental extensions. There is no limit on the time an O1 holder staying in the U.S. 

Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) O1 alien may hold O3 status as dependents of the principal alien. This status allows the O3 alien to reside in the United States, but not to work.

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