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O-1 VISA FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY

Updated: Feb 12

There are various employment visa options for people who wish to be employed in the US. While the H-1B visa is the most utilized employment visa in the US, another popular visa option is the O-1 visa, wherein the visa-seeker must have an “extraordinary ability” and a US job offer.

An O-1 visa is a temporary work visa granted by the USCIS to such people who possess extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (or) to those who demonstrate a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.


Types of O Visas:

  • O-1A: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics

  • O-1B: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in a motion picture or television industry.

  • O-2: Individuals who will accompany an O-1 (Generally, assistants of O-1 visa holders).

  • O-3: Dependents (spouse and children) of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.

Advantages of O Visa:

1. Having an O-1 visa may help pave the path to obtain a Green Card in the US.

2. It is initially granted for a period of up to 3 years. But it may be extended any number of times annually.

3. O visa holders’ dependents can also accompany them in the US.

4. It is a dual intent visa, which means that the visa-seeker does not need to prove the intent of returning to the home country.

5. As compared to an H-1B visa, it may be more advantageous:

a. There is no annual limit to the number of O-visas that the USCIS can approve.

b. There is no minimum educational or professional degree requirement (however, “extraordinary ability” must be proved).

c. No Prevailing Wage requirement exists.

d. One can be sponsored for an O-visa on a contractual basis.


Eligibility Criteria for O-1 Visa:

The qualifications include but are not limited to:

  • A well-recognized international award such as a Nobel Prize or Olympic medal

  • A less well-known award that is nationally or internationally recognized

  • A membership in an exclusive organization related to your field

  • Mentions of your published material in trade publications

  • Scholarly articles that you’ve written for your field

  • Other significant contributions to your field

  • Commanding a large salary that distinguishes you in the field

  • Sitting as a judge or on a panel of judges for your peers

  • Holding critical positions for esteemed organizations in your field


To ascertain whether you qualify for an O-1 visa, contact Punhani Law Firm at aarushi@punhani law.com or +1(973)577-6464, +1(212)457-1153. Let us help you achieve your American Dream!

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