O-1 Visas

O-1 Visas

BACKGROUND

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses 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.

This page will focus on individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)


COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What are the basic requirements for an O-1?

How do I prove that I have “risen to the very top of the field of endeavor?

How can I use “comparable evidence” to help my O-1 case?

Can my spouse and children come with me on O-1?

Can my spouse or O-3 dependent work while I am on an O-1?

Does the job position I am taking also must require extraordinary ability?

Can I start an O-1 business and then sponsor myself with O-1? In other words, can I sponsor my own O-1 through a company that I own?

Is O-1 a dual intent status/visa? Can I seek legal permanent residence (a green card) while on O-1 status?

What if I have more questions on an O-1 visas?

 

What are the basic requirements for an O-1?

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

How do I prove that I have “risen to the very top of the field of endeavor?

Evidence that the beneficiary 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 for which classification is sought 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 for which classification is sought
  • 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 for which classification is sought
  • 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 for which classification is sought
  • 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 beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility.

How can I use “comparable evidence” to help my O-1 case?

To use comparable evidence, you must first show that one or more of the criteria listed above does not readily apply to your specific occupation. After demonstrating that a certain criterion does not readily apply to your occupation, you then must show why your submitted evidence is “comparable” to the criterion listed in the regulations.

Can my spouse and children come with me on O-1?

Any accompanying spouse and children under the age of 21 may be eligible to apply for an O-3 nonimmigrant visa, subject to the same period of admission and limitations as the O-1/O-2 nonimmigrant.

Can my spouse or O-3 dependent work while I am on an O-1?

No, currently there is no facility for work authorization for an O-1 dependent to work in the United States under this classification, but they may engage in full or part time study on an O-3 visa.

Does the job position I am taking also must require extraordinary ability?

No, it does not. There is no requirement that the position requires a person of O-1 caliber.

Can I start an O-1 business and then sponsor myself with O-1?  In other words, can I sponsor my own O-1 through a company that I own?

Yes, you can. By setting up the case properly, the owner of a company can sponsor their own O-1 and work for the company.

Is O-1 a dual intent status/visa? Can I seek legal permanent residence (a green card) while on O-1 status?

Yes, O-1 is considered dual intent since there is no foreign residence requirement to obtain an O-1.

What if I have more questions on an O-1 visas?

Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding O-1 that you may have.


This list of questions is not exhaustive. If you have any particular questions or concerns regarding O-1 status, please feel free to contact the Fok Immigration Law at info@jfoklaw.com. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.