What is the O-1 Visa?
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for an individual who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
There are two types of O-1 visa, depending on the type of industry or occupation:
- O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
- O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
This post will discuss the evidentiary criteria for the first type, O-1A visa for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. Please view our post on the evidentiary criteria for the second type, O-1B visa for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.
Evidentiary Criteria for O-1A
An O-1A visa applicant needs to provide evidence that she has received 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 endeavor
- Membership in associations in the field of endeavor 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 endeavor
- Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
- Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field of endeavor
- 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 endeavor
- Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
If the above criteria do not readily apply to the applicant's occupation, other comparable evidence may be submitted.
Additionally, the applicant must provide evidence that they are coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.
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