The O-1 Visa Category for Extraordinary Individuals Explained

Individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, education, business, and athletics may apply for an O-1A visa to work in their area of expertise. Those with extraordinary ability in the arts or motion pictures or TV can apply for the O-1B visa. U.S. employers or agents can file O-1 petitions.

The O-1A requires evidence of sustained national or international acclaim, and the applicant must be among the few who have reached the pinnacle of their field. The O-1B motion picture standard requires a level of skill and recognition significantly above that commonly encountered, while the O-1B for artists requires evidence of prominence in their field.

Initially, the O-1 visa is valid for three years and can be extended indefinitely in one-year increments as long as the individual maintains their acclaim. In some cases, a three-year extension may be possible if there is a new employer or event.

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