O-1 Visa for Extraordinary Ability in 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 recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered.” The artist must be “prominent in his or her field of endeavor.”

A foreign national must prove prominence in the field by being nominated for, or the recipient of, a significant international or national award or prize — such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award — or by documenting that he or she meets at least 3 of the following criteria:

  1. He or she has performed, and will perform, services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications contracts, or endorsements.
  2. He or she has achieved national or international recognition for achievements evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications.
  3. He or she has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.
  4. He or she has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion pictures or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications.
  5. He or she has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the alien is engaged. Such testimonials must be in a form which clearly indicates the author's authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien's achievements.
  6. Or, he or she has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

If the above criteria do not readily apply to the occupation, the individual may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility.

Contact Our San Diego Immigration Law Firm if You Have Questions About O-1 Visas

Chawla Law Group of San Diego works with foreign nationals seeking O-1 visas for extraordinary ability in the arts in San Diego, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay / Silicon Valley area, and throughout California. We are also happy to work with select clients elsewhere in the US and throughout the globe. Contact us by completing our online information form, calling (858) 586-0700, or emailing vchawla@chawlalaw.com.