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The non-immigrant O-1 visa category is reserved for an individual who has established a record of accomplishment demonstrated through extensive documentation of his/her sustained national or international acclaim in business, sciences, arts, or athletics. Such evidence includes the receipt of a national or international award, membership in a society or organization that requires excellence as a criteria for induction, copies of publication by or about the applicant, evidence that the applicant has been the judge of others' work, and any other probative evidence. The accomplishments must be nationally or internationally recognized. Must have U.S. employer or agent as sponsor.

The O-1 visa can be approved for up to three years with ongoing renewals possible. An O-1 visa holder can apply to bring his/her support staff in O-2 visa status. O-1 and O-2 visa holders can apply to bring their spouses and children in O-3 visa status.



An O visa is a classification of non-immigrant temporary worker visa granted by the United States to an alien "who possesses 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 and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements," and to certain assistants and immediate family members of such aliens.


According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are three types of O visas:

  • O-1A – individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)

  • O-1B – individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or the extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.

  • O-2 – individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance. "For an O-1A, the O-2's assistance must be an 'integral part' of the O-1A's activity. For an O-1B, the O-2's assistance must be 'essential' to the completion of the O-1B's production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1.

  • O-3 – individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1s and O-2s.


An O-1 visa is initially granted for up to three years. Subsequently, it can be extended for one year at a time. There is no limit to the number of extensions that may be granted. The term "O-1" refers to 8 U.S.C. § 1101(O)(i) (also known as Section 101(O)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), which provides for the admission of "aliens of extraordinary ability" in the stated fields. Spouses and dependent children of O-1 visa holders do not receive the status, but instead qualify for O-3 visas.


Unlike many other temporary employment visas, the applicant need not demonstrate proof of binding ties to a residence outside the United States which the applicant has no intention of abandoning.


The EB-1 is a preference category for United States employment-based permanent residency. It is intended for "priority workers". These are foreign nationals who either have "extraordinary abilities", or are "outstanding professors or researchers", and also includes "some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S." It allows them to remain permanently in the U.S.


The visa is granted to three types of aliens:


  • Those with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation.

  • "Outstanding professors and researchers" who "are recognized internationally for their outstanding academic achievements in a particular field". They must also have "at least three years' experience in teaching or research in that academic area, and enter the U.S. in a tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education" plus other conditions.

  • "Some executives and managers of foreign companies who are transferred to the U.S." They need to have been employed, during the last three years, for at least one year outside of the U.S. in a managerial position in the same company that is going to employ them in the U.S. or in a related company. There are also other conditions.

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