Extraordinary Ability Visa (O-1A and O-1B)

More Information About the Process

To successfully apply for and receive the O-1 visa, you must be able to prove that you have risen to the very top of your respective field. Evidence of such extraordinary ability may include major internationally recognized awards, or at least three of the following:

national or international awards;
membership in associations requiring outstanding achievements;
published material about the applicant;
original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance;
authorship of publications in professional journals or major media;
high salary;
history as a judge of the work of others; and/or
employment in a critical or essential capacity for distinguished organizations.

If, for example, you are in the arts or motion picture fields, you must demonstrate extraordinary ability through “distinction,” as a prominent, leading, well-known or well-recognized individual, substantially above others in the field. This can be demonstrated through nomination for or receipt of a national or international award or at least three of the following qualifications:

lead or starring role in distinguished productions;
national or international recognition for achievements;
major role for distinguished organizations;
major commercial or critically acclaimed successes;
recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other experts;
and/or a high salary.

Frequently asked questions about Extraordinary Ability Visa

There are two categories of O visas. The O-1A is for those in the education, science, business and athletics fields. To apply for an O-1A visa, you must be able to prove that you have risen to the very top of your field. In contrast, if you were to apply for an O-1B visa, you would need to demonstrate your involvement in the arts or motion picture field and that you have “distinction,” as a prominent, leading, well-known or well recognized individual, substantially above others in the field.

While certain exceptions may apply, a consultation or a written advisory opinion is a letter from the appropriate peer group or labor union confirming that the you do indeed meet the extraordinary ability qualifications or that there is no objection to the application. The consultation must be submitted in conjunction with an O-1 application.

Technically yes. However, if you are more traditionally self-employed or want to work for more than one entity, you may use a U.S. agent who can file on behalf of multiple employers or act as an employer. If you use an agent, additional documentation is required, such as an itinerary, contracts and authorization.

The O-2 visa is for support staff with required, critical skills and experience. O-2 support staff may accompany you as the main O-1 applicant in order to provide essential services. Additional documentation is required in order to prove that the support staff members meet the O-2 requirements.

The O-1 is usually valid for the duration of employment, which must be for temporary period lasting no longer than 3 years. Extensions may be granted depending on the amount of time necessary for increments of time lasting up to one year.

Why should you hire Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell to represent you?

Our firm has experienced U.S. immigration lawyers who have worked with major companies and individuals around the world. We would be happy to assist you or your company by providing advice and handling applications to help achieve your short and long-term US immigration goals. O-1 applications can be extremely difficult and require extensive documentation. If you wish to obtain an O-1 it is important to properly highlight important aspects of the applicant’s career in order to present the strongest case possible. Contact us today to book a consultation or fill out the assessment form.