O1 Visa (Extraordinary Ability Visa)

USA O1 Visa is given away to people who hold extra-ordinary skills in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Non-immigrants who possess a record of achievements in television industry or film industry with a global recognition for the same can also apply for this visa provided the appointment letter from U.S Company is ready. The U.S. government has no restrictions on the number of visas it allots to people. The non-immigrant is eligible to work for its visa sponsor but in case the non-immigrant is looking for a change in job, he/she has to apply for a new visa all over.  


USA O1 Visa are provided to people who possess a job ready in the States in addition to an excellent skill in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. To be eligible for this visa, the non-immigrant should clearly exhibit their proficiency and mastery over their talent and art in the form of global acclamation. The alien also has to showcase his top designation among many others eligible for the visa. The alien must also clearly depict their reason for coming to the States only for a short duration or temporary period.

Eligibility criteria

In order to meet the criteria for an O1 Visa, the alien non-immigrant must prove his talent of global recognition and his/her intention of temporarily shifting to the United States to the extent of his/her job. The eligibility criteria for USA O1 Visa for different categories are as follows;

Science, education, business or athletics- The criterion for this category mandates the non-immigrant to possess an expert skill stating how they are among few others to have been excelled in this field.

Art- To be eligible for USA O1 Visa in arts category, the non-immigrant must be distinctive and accomplished renowned recognition and acclamation in arts field.

Film industry, television industry- Non-immigrants who desire to apply for USA O1 Visa under this category must hold critical acclamation in film or television industry or should be a notable personality of the same category.

Application process

The visa petition for USA O1 Visa should be filed by the U.S employer or sponsor and not by an individual. The application process of USA O1 Visa requires the non-immigrant petitioner to file Form I-129 for the post of non-immigrant worker provided the application is submitted within a year of the petitioner’s desire of coming to the United States. To confirm approval of visa, the petitioner should file Form I-129 minimum of 50 days prior to joining their job in the States.  

The submitted petition is then forwarded to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to hold a discussion about the petitioner’s job location. Once the U.S government approves the petition, application for USA O1 visa can be filed.

Supporting documents required

The below mentioned documents are required for USA O1 Visa;

  •  An appointment letter from the U.S Company mentioning details about the job and job joining date.
  •  Other documents needed to support evidence of excellent talent and skill in the field of science, art, education, business or athletics. These documents are divided into Basics A and Basics B by the USCIS.

BASICS A documents-

  •  Documents of this category include the petitioner to hold a Nobel Prize or other competent award of international recognition.

BASICS B documents-

Documents of this category mandate the individual to possess minimum of three of the following;

  • Acknowledgement of broadly or universally received grants or prizes for perfection in his/her field.
  • Enrollment as a member in the field of unique capacity, which oblige extraordinary accomplishment for participation, as judged by national or universal masters.
  • References in expert publications, composed by others about the petitioner’s work in the field. Incorporate the title, date, and creator and any interpretation, if essential.
  • Cooperation on a board or as a judge of the work of others in the same or an associated field.
  • Unique exploratory, insightful or business commitments of significant importance to the field.
  • Origin of insightful articles in the field in expert journals or significant media.
  • Past job in a discriminating limit for associations and/or foundations that have a recognized notoriety.
  • Proof of high pay or other essentially high compensation for administrations in connection to others in the field, as demonstrated by contracts or other confirmation.
  • Simply giving three evidences of proof does not create that the non-immigrant has phenomenal abilities. USCIS considers the nature of the proof submitted and not simply whether the base measure of documentation has been submitted.

Documents proof for an O-1 appeal may be as:

  • Testimonies, contracts, grants, or other documentation showcasing the way of the petitioner’s home-land accomplishments confirmed by an officer or authorized individual where the work was performed.
  • Testimonies composed by present and/or previous managers or renowned specialists validating the notoriety and phenomenal capacity of the non-immigrant.


The fee for USA O1 Visa is $ 190 per application.

Application form

By filling and submitting Form I-129, the non-immigrant can apply for USA O1 Visa.

Rejection reasons

It is not mandatory for one to be qualified for O1 Visa in the event that they have capability needed for the visa. One need to stand solid and qualify the criteria set around the legislature of USA to be qualified and get the O1 Visa. The following points focus on the reasons of O1 Visa dismissal;

  • When the petitioner does not have an exceptional skill in the field of science, education, business or games nor has received any national or global acclaim in the related field.
  • When the applicant has not received any Nobel Prize or an universally perceived honor, the O1 Visa application is declined for dissent, this being the purpose behind O1 Visa dismissal.
  • When there is no affirmation of the individual's receipt of national or overall distinguished prizes or prizes for quality in the range of venture;
  • When the affirmation of the individual's record in the organization in the category for which classification is sought, which require phenomenal achievement of its members, as evaluated by distinguished national or worldwide masters in their job or fields;
  • One of the purposes behind O1 Visa dismissal is that there is no discharged content in master or huge exchange aides or notable article about the petitioner, his/her performance in the category for which class is most sought of, which may include the feature, date, and author of such distributed content, and any vital analysis;
  • When there is no verification of the individual's commitment on a board, or freely, as a review of the perform of others in the same or in an unified category of aptitude to that for which classification is looked for;
  • When there is no evidence of the individual's unique mechanical, academic, or business-related exertions of importance in the field;
  • When there is no affirmation of the individual's origin of academic articles in the area, in master productions, or other noteworthy media;
  • When it is not confirmed that the individual has been working in a noteworthy or key limit for organizations and organizations that have a recorded notoriety;
  • When there is no proof that the individual has either taught a higher wage or will control a higher pay or other installment for administrations, affirmed by agreement or other dependable proof.

How long can stay with this visa

The length of time of O1 visa may be stretched out up to one year each one time, if the applicant demands the USCIS after indicating legitimate reasons that the worker need to proceed with work in the U.S. to finish the obligations for which he/she had conceded.

Then again, if the petitioner is changing an occupation or another assignment is offered by the same manager, it would be considered as another movement. On documenting an appeal, asking to augment the span of O1 visa, the outsider may be allowed an extension of another three year O status.

This visa holders whether qualified to apply for other visas and citizenship

Change of status from O1 visa to different classifications is permitted. Petitioner can seek permanent residence under this visa. Work accreditation necessity for perpetual living arrangement is waived as they are identical to the extraordinary ability visa holders under EB-1. Dependents can go hand in hand with the petitioner under O3 visa yet they can't work under this visa and help staff under O2 visa.