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EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY VISA

The O1 visa is a temporary work visa for people with extraordinary ability in athletics, arts, business, education or science as demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim. The O1 visa permits those who have reached the top level of expertise to come to the US to work in their field for a US employer or agent.

O1 Visa Requirements

To qualify for an O1 visa, the applicant must demonstrate that they possess an extraordinary ability in one of the following fields:

  • athletics;
  • arts, motion picture or television industry;
  • business;
  • education; or
  • science.

A person of extraordinary ability is one of a small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field. This must be evidenced by skill and recognition above that ordinarily encountered and the person must be recognized as prominent, renowned, or notable in their field.

In addition, the applicant must have a temporary offer of employment from a US employer or agent to work in their field of expertise.

O1 visa applicants may also be required to meet certain health and character requirements.

O1 Visa Entitlements

An O1 visa entitles the holder to live and work in the US temporarily. An O1 visa is usually granted for an initial period of up to 3 years and extensions may be granted. Foreign workers with an O1 visa are permitted dual intent, meaning the applicant can maintain O1 visa status while applying for a Green Card to remain in the US permanently.

Persons wishing to accompany O1 visa applicants who are artists or athletes may be eligible to apply for an O2 visa if their skills and experience are essential to the completion of the O1 visa applicant’s work.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for the applicable derivative visa (O3 visa) to join their spouse or parent in the US. Accompanying spouses and children are entitled to study in the United States but are not entitled to undertake any employment without obtaining an appropriate work visa