O1 Visa - Requirements and Information on How to Apply

O1 Visa


The O1 visa is a non-resident US visa for people who demonstrate extraordinary ability in their field, whether that be the arts, sport, business, education, or the sciences.

The O1 could be considered the non-resident equivalent of the EB1-1 ( the “Extraordinary Ability Green Card”, which gives permanent residency). This does not mean that the requirements to obtain an O1 are any lower: the applicant needs to prove they are at the top of their field.

The O1 visa is normally valid for up 3 years. However, if it is granted to cover a specific event, production, or activity, the period may be less. Extensions are available in 1-year increments, and there is no limit on extensions, however the visa holder must show that they are continuing with same position or activity for which the original visa was granted.

Dependents of an O1 visa holder (i.e. spouse or unmarried children under age 21) can apply for O3 visas, which allow them to accompany the primary visa holder for the duration of their stay in the United States, either arriving with the O1 holder or at a later date. O3 visa holders are permitted to study but not to work in the U.S..

O1 visa for extraordinary abilityQualifying for an O1 Visa

Applicants must be able to provide sufficient evidence for at least three of the following conditions:

  1. Have received national or international awards or prizes of excellence in their field.
  2. Being are a member of associations whose membership requires outstanding achievement, judged by nationally or internationally recognized experts in the respective discipline.
  3. Their work has been featured in professional or high-profile trade publications, or mainstream media.
  4. The applicant has served in some capacity as a judge of others in the same (or closely related) field. This could either be individual or as part of a judging panel.
  5. Have had articles  published in professional or notable trade publications.
  6. Have made original scientific, academic, or business contributions of major significance in their respective field.
  7. Have served in a leading or critical capacity for highly regarded organizations or establishments.
  8. Command a high salary or remuneration for their  services.
  9. Other relevant evidence of exceptional expertise that does not fit any of the above criteria.

Attorney’s Tips for O1 Visa Applicants

Alternatives to O1 Visa?

In the case of O2 visa holders (support personnel), they may be able to move to EB3 Green Card in certain circumstances.

Please contact us to arrange your visa strategy session, where one of our immigration attorneys will be happy to help you navigate your options.

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Leave a Comment:

ALEJANDRO says December 28, 2016

Hello my name is ALEJANDRO ¨TORO¨ I am a profesional acrobat (I competed on TRAMPOLINE with the Spanish Team for 20 years, European champion in double minitramp in 2002). I performed with CIRQUE DU SOLEIL in the show DRALION for 5 and a half years doing Trampo-Wall touring all around the wall and also I am an actor/STUNTMAN which is the reason why I want to get the O1 visa, to move to LA and keep going with my STUNT carear.

    Jon Velie says October 17, 2017

    Alejandro: please call us at 405-310-4333 to discuss. Jon Velie Atty at Law

Ahmad says February 28, 2017

For along time i have waited for my visas

Rodrigo H. Recio says March 30, 2017

Im willing to make my visa O1, I just came back from LA, but cant make any jobs so.. id like to start the process. Im actually living in Madrid.
Thanks for your time

    OnlineVisas.com says March 30, 2017

    Excellent Rodrigo!

    Allow me to e-mail you and we can set up a time for a free strategy session to discuss O-1 visa options with one of our attorneys!


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Ciaran Lennon says November 5, 2019

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Tyler Shaw says December 10, 2019

Hi, my name is Tyler Shaw
I’m a professional drag queen I have competed in moss gay Australia international and won the title of Miss Gay Australia international 2019 also competing in other national titles holding state titles and national people awards, I have been performing for almost four years a bf touring around Australia performing in most states, I would like a visa to be able to head to America and further my career in my field and enter a television series.

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