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O1 Visa Law


To qualify for an O1 Visa, you must have an 'extraordinary ability' in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. F1.You have to be sponsored by a US employer, an alien cannot sponsor themselves.F2. The work you are coming to the US to perform must be temporary in nature, and in the same area as your extraordinary ability. F3.

Your Petition Must Include:
Form I-129. F4.
A contract between the employer and the alien. F5, F6
An advisory opinion. F7.

Your Petition May Include:
Letters from former employers certifying alien's extraordinary ability. F8.
Letter from present employer certifying alien's extraordinary ability. F8.
Letters from experts in the field certifying alien's extraordinary ability. F8.

Your Petition Must Prove:
What your petition must prove differs depending on the field of job you are pursuing.
The three main categories are:
(1) Sciences, education, business, or athletics [referred to as O-1A];
(2) Arts [referred to as O-1B];
(3) Television and film [very unique qualifications, but falls under O-1B];

Requirements of O-1A Visa of the Sciences, Education, Business, or Athletics
(1) Evidence that the alien has recieved a major award such as the Nobel Prize. F9.
OR, if that isn't applicable, evidence of at least three of the following:
(1) The alien has recieved awards in their field. F10.
(2) The alien is a member of an elite association in their field. F11.
(3) The alien has been recognized by major media for their achievements.F12.
(4) The alien has served as a judge of talent in their field.F13.
(5) The alien has made original scientific, scholarly, or business contributions to their field.F14.
(6) The alien has authored scholarly articles which recieved major publication in their field.F15.
(7) The alien has worked in a critical capacity for a distinguished organization.F16.
(8) The alien has or will command a high salary.F17. C1.

Requirements of O-1B Visa of the Arts
(1) Evidence that the alien has been nominated for or won a significant national or international award such as an Academy Award or an Emmy. F18.
OR, if that isn't applicable, evidence of at least three of the following:
(1) The alien has and will perform as a lead in distinguished events. F19.
(2) The alien has been written about in major publications. F20.
(3) The alien has and will perform as a lead for distinguished prganizations.F21.
(4) The alien has record of work which has been commercially or critically successful.F22.
(5) The alien has recieved recognition for their achievements by organizations.F23.
(6) The alien has or will command a high salary.F24. C1.



F1. “Under this nonimmigrant category, the alien may be classified under section 101(a)(15)(O)(i) of the Act as an alien 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.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(1)(i).

F2. “An O-1 or O-2 petition may only be filed by a United States employer, a United States agent, or a foreign employer through a United States agent… An O alien may not petition for himself or herself.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(i).

F3. “An individual alien who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and who is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(1)(ii)(A)(1).

F4. “A petitioner seeking to classify an alien as an O-1 or O-2 nonimmigrant shall file a petition on Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(i).

F5. “Copies of any written contracts between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary or, if there is no written contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the alien will be employed." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(ii)(B).

F6. “An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(ii)(C).

F7. “A written advisory opinion(s) from the appropriate consulting entity or entities.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(ii)(D).

F8. “Affidavits written by present or former employers or recognized experts certifying to the recognition and extraordinary ability, or in the case of a motion picture or television production, the extraordinary achievement of the alien, shall specifically describe the alien's recognition and ability or achievement in factual terms and set forth the expertise of the affiant and the manner in which the affiant acquired such information.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(2)(iii)(B).

F9. “Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(A).

F10. “Documentation of the alien's receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(1).

F11. “Documentation of the alien's membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(2).

F12. “Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien's work in the field for which classification is sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such published material, and any necessary translation.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(3).

F13. “Evidence of the alien's participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization to that for which classification is sought.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(4).

F14. “Evidence of the alien's original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(5).

F15. “Evidence of the alien's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(6).

F16. “Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(7).

F17. “Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.” 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iii)(B)(8).

F18. "Evidence that the alien has been nominated for, or has been the recipient of, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director's Guild Award." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(A).

F19. "Evidence that the alien has performed, and will perform, services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications contracts, or endorsements." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(B)(1).

F20. "Evidence that the alien has achieved national or international recognition for achievements evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(B)(2).

F21. "Evidence that the alien has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(B)(3).

F22. "Evidence that the alien has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion pictures or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(B)(4).

F23. "Evidence that the alien has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the alien is engaged. Such testimonials must be in a form which clearly indicates the author's authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien's achievements." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(B)(5).

F24. "Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence." 8 CFR 214.2(O)(3)(iv)(B)(6).




C1. US Department of Labor prevailing wage rate information alone does not establish the wage rate of others working in the field.
The fact that the beneficiary is being paid slightly above the mean wage does not establish that the beneficiary’s salary is high in relation to others in the field.
Additional renumerations, such as benefits and travel expenses, can only add to a claim of high salary when compared with other workers average renumerations in the field of work. AAO Jan062015_01D8101.