O-1: Alien with Extraordinary Ability in Sciences, Art, Education, Business, or Athletics
The O-1 visa classification is intended for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. To qualify, an applicant must generally have extraordinary ability demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. Artists and entertainers in the television and motion picture industries are treated somewhat differently, and must demonstrate a record of extraordinary achievement. These objective O-1 requirements mean that applicants must present extensive documentation that demonstrates that they have received recognition of their extraordinary abilities and/or achievements from qualified, objective sources in their occupational field.
O-1 visas are based on a petition filed by a U.S. employer offering a specific job in the U.S. that requires a person of extraordinary ability. The petitioning employer must submit evidence that the prospective employee meets the established O-1 criteria, that the position offered requires an individual of extraordinary ability, and that the individual is coming to the U.S. to continue to work in the area of extraordinary ability. O-1 status may be granted for an initial stay of a maximum of three years, and may be renewed indefinitely in one year increments.