O-1 Visa for Doctors

Summary of O1 Visa for Doctors

All foreign Doctors and Physicians are potentially eligible for O-1 Visas. Most applicants are transferring from a J-1 Visa or an H-1B Visa to an O1 Visa. This is because of the requirement that an applicant have a history of work in their field. Generally speaking, an applicant should have at least two years experience working as a Doctor before applying for this visa.

To achieve an O-1 Visa a Doctor must meet 3 of 8 criteria and have a job offer from a US Employer. Doctors will typically apply for the criteria of Authorship, Organizations, Contribution, and/or Associations. Medical workers rarely meet the Salary or Award criteria, due to the nature of their fields. O-1 Visas are favored by Doctors due to their avoidance of the J-1 home residency requirement, which is a common hurdle for foreign Physicians. The O-1 Visa also allows a holder to work and live in the US for three years, and can be renewed indefinitely. Due to the extensive requirements of the O-1 Visa, using an experienced O-1 Visa Attorney is highly recommended. Contact us to see how we can help you win your case.

O-1 Visa for Doctors | O1 Visa for Doctors


Doctors are eligible for an O-1A Visa in the Field of Science. O-1A Visas are a sub-type of O-1 Visas, available to those seeking to work in the fields of Athletics, Business, Education or Science. An O1 Visa for Doctors is categorized in the Field of Science. The other type of O-1 is an O-1B Visa, which is for artists. The criteria for an O-1A Visa is different from that of an O-1B, although they do have some similarities.

In order to qualify for an O1 Visa for Doctors, an O1 Visa Doctor applicant must meet at least (3) of (8) criteria for the O-1A Visa AND have a job offer from a US Employer willing to act as a sponsor.


An applicant must show that they meet at least (3) of the following (8) criteria. The case officer that decides your case will have a checklist with all 8 criteria. Once 3 criteria are met, the officer will submit an approval. Every successful applicant is awarded the same O-1 Visa, regardless of how many criteria (above three) they meet. Most successful applicants only achieve 3-4 criteria.

1. Award Criteria
Applicant has individually, or as a team, recieved an award, prize, certificate, or grant for a work acheivement in their field.
This Award must be recieved post-graduation, although there are some exceptions for PhD work. If this award was given to a 'team', you must have been a ranking or integral member in the team's work. Shortlist candidates (second place, third place, etc...) can satisfy for this criteria, depending on the details. The award must be nationally or internationally known, within your field. For example, if you are a Doctor in Denmark, this award must be well known to the point that if three random Doctors in Denmark were asked if they have heard of it, at least one will say yes.
Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Archbishop's Award for Excellence in Healthcare
   Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant

2. Association Criteria
Applicant belongs to a Professional Association that has excellence or achievement as a requirement for membership.
The Association needs to be exclusively for Professionals working in your field. There must be a membership application that takes into account "merit" and is, preferably, adjudged by a panel of members. Alumni associations would not count because they are open to any graduates of the school, and do not take into account the individual's achievements. Similarly, associations which only require work in the field for a specific number of years would not satisfy this criteria. Sometimes an association will have different levels of membership, some of which would satisfy this criteria, and some which would not.

o-1 visa for doctors   This criteria is commonly achieved by Doctors.
o1 visa for doctors   This criteria may be sought for the purpose of being approved for an O-1 Visa for Doctors.
Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Women in Endocrinology
   List available to clients.

3. News Media Criteria
Applicant has appeared by name in print or online for work in their field.
The article must be mainly about the applicant. If the article mentions several different people, the applicant must have equal and significant attention. The article must be about the applicant's work achievements. For example, an interview with a Cardiologist article about a medical device she invented. The article can be in any language and come from any country.

o1 visa for doctors   This criteria may be sought for the purpose of being approved for an O-1 Visa for Doctors.
Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Medical Breakthrough in Texas
   Prosthetic Eyes Helps Thousands

4. Judge Criteria
Applicant has acted as a Judge, individually or on a panel, or others work in the field.
The applicant must have been in a position to evaluate other professionals in their field based on a set criteria. As a result of the applicant's judgement, the evaluated were then rewarded or demoted. This can include having a supervisory role or being on an editory board for a journal.

Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Member of Admissions Committee
   Senior Doctor in Charge of Residents

5. Contributions Criteria
Applicant individually or as part of a research team, made a scientific discovery, hypothesis, or argument which is new and original to their field.
The research that the applicant has done must in some way have contributed towards others in the field. This can be shown by having the work cited in research, or other similar endorsements. This criteria an also be satisfied with a patent.

o-1 visa for doctors   This criteria is commonly achieved by Doctors.
Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Study Links Statins to Memory Loss
   Link Between Chlorine and Depression

6. Authorship Criteria
Applicant has authored a scholarly article in their field which was published, online or in print.
This requirement is possibly the easiest, in that there is no requirement that the article be published in a "major" journal, or be cited. However, publishing in your own college's journal can be viewed negatively, depending on the circumstances.

o-1 visa for doctors   This criteria is commonly achieved by Doctors.
o1 visa for doctors   This criteria may be sought for the purpose of being approved for an O-1 Visa for Doctors.
Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Diabetes in Indo-Asian People
   Risk of Prostate Cancer in African American Men

7. Employment Criteria
Applicant has been a high level employee or team member to the point of their employment being critical to the company or team. Further, that company or team was successful to the point of gaining media recognition.
This requirement is easy to fulfill, especially if you have been in some sort of supervisory role in your career.

o-1 visa for doctors   This criteria is commonly achieved by Doctors.
Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   Lead Researcher at Harvard
   Head Physician at Sloan Kettering

8. Salary Criteria
Applicant has or will make over the average wage Doctors, for their field.
This requirement is very hard to fulfill for doctors. Applicant's salary is compared to that of other Doctors, who are traditionally highly paid. This field can also be fulfilled retro-actively, meaning you could have previously been highly paid. The comparision is based on your field, and the country the money was earned in.

Specific O-1 Visa Doctor Examples
   American Audiologist over $90,670 per year.
   American Chiropractor over $95,410 per year.
   Contact us for your specialty salary requirements .

Specific Fields

The O-1 Visa is available to applicant Doctors practicing in many different fields of medicine. Listed are specialties that have been previously granted O-1 Visas. Please be aware this list is not exclusive, meaning there are specialties in the field of medicine which have been granted O-1 Visas but are not included.

Reproductive Endocrinologist, Neurosurgeon, Family Medicine, Medical Practitioner, Electrophysiologist, Geneticist, Neonatologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Acupuncturist, Hemotologist, Orthodontist, Cancer Surgeon, Oncologist, Bariatric Surgeon, Fertility Doctor, Clinician, Pain Management, Physician, Neurointerventional Surgeon, General Psychiatry, Optician, Rheumatologist, Ophthalmologist, Forensic Psychiatry, Surgeon, Medical Examiner, Homeopathy, Pediatrician, Biomechanics, Vascular Surgeon, Otolaryngologist, General Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon, Nephrologist, Naturopathic, Colorectal Surgeon, Pulmonologist, Dental Surgeon, Podiatrist, Geriatric Specialist, Orthopedic Surgeon, Radiologist, Internal Medicine, Cardiologist, Optometrist, Reconstructive Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, Pharmacologist, Ear Nose & Throat, Neuroradiologist, Gynecologist, Neurologist, Nurse Practitioner, Cardiovascular surgeon, Internist, Endocrinologist, Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Psychiatrist, Osteopath, Thoracic Surgeon, Epidemiologist, Obstetrician, Ortho Spine Surgeon, Occupational Medicine, Chiropractor, Urologist, Orthopedist, infectious disease specialist, Hand Surgeon, Dermatologist, General Practitioner, Periodontist, Pathologist, Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon, Cardiovascular Disease Specialist, Pediatrics, Dermatopathologist, Dentist, HIV specialist, Spine Surgeon, Prosthodontist, Coroner, Family Doctor, Maxiofacial Surgeon, Oral Surgeon, Neonatal Perinatal Specialist, Medical Resident, immunologist, Gastroenterologist, Cardiothoracic Surgeon.


To be granted an O1 Visa for Doctors, the O1 Visa Doctor applicant must have a job offer from a US Employer. Although an O1 Visa Doctor applicant can be sponsored by any US Employer, they are usually sponsored by the following types of employers.

Clinics, Doctor Office, Hospitals, Labratories, Medical Centers, Non-Profits, Nursing Home, Private Companies, Universities.

Specific Fields
   Bariatric Surgeon
   Cancer Surgeon
   Cardiothoracic Surgeon
   Cardiovascular Disease Specialist
   Cardiovascular surgeon
   Colorectal Surgeon
   Dental Surgeon
   Ear Nose & Throat
   Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
   Family Doctor
   Family Medicine
   Fertility Doctor
   Forensic Psychiatry
   General Practitioner
   General Psychiatry
   General Surgeon
   Geriatric Specialist
   Hand Surgeon
   HIV specialist
   infectious disease specialist
   Internal Medicine
   Laparoscopic Surgeon
   Maxiofacial Surgeon
   Medical Examiner
   Medical Practitioner
   Medical Resident
   Neonatal Perinatal Specialist
   Neurointerventional Surgeon
   Nurse Practitioner
   Occupational Medicine
   Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon
   Oral Surgeon
   Ortho Spine Surgeon
   Orthopedic Surgeon
   Pain Management
   Plastic Surgeon
   Reconstructive Surgeon
   Reproductive Endocrinologist
   Spine Surgeon
   Thoracic Surgeon
   Vascular Surgeon