O-1 Visas for Immigrants with Extraordinary Abilities

Below is a general summary of the O-1 visa for immigrants with extraordinary abilities. It is not intended to serve as a comprehensive outline of all aspects of US Immigration Law pertaining to the O-1 visa.

The O visa is a working visa designed for highly talented or acclaimed foreign nationals. The O classification can be a useful and flexible alternative to the H-1B visa program.

The O visa is available to a foreign national who can demonstrate his or her extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (or extraordinary achievement in the field of film or television). Extraordinary ability is considered “a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”

Advisory Opinions

All O-1 petitions must include an advisory opinion from a consultative organization, describing the beneficiary’s ability and achievements in the field. This consultation requirement can be waived if one can demonstrate that an appropriate union does not exist for the field.

To learn more about O-1 visas in particular fields, click on the links below. If you have questions or need assistance obtaining an O-1 visa, we welcome you to contact Chawla Law Group. We work with foreign nationals seeking O-1 visas throughout California and around the globe.

Science, Education, Business, or Athletics

The Immigration Service requires that an individual in the sciences prove that he or she meets the extraordinary ability standard by showing that he or she has sustained national or international acclaim. A foreign national can prove that he or she h… Read More

The Arts

Extraordinary ability in the arts requires evidence that the individual has achieved “distinction” in his or her field. “Distinction” is defined as “a high level of achievement in the field of arts, evidence by a degree of skill and recogni… Read More

Motion Picture or Television Production

Extraordinary ability in the fields of motion picture or television production is defined as follows: “a very high level of accomplishment . . . evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered . .… Read More