O Visas for Persons of Extraordinary Ability
An O visa is a temporary work visa available to aliens with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (O-1A), or in the arts, motion pictures or television industry (O-1B).
How to Qualify for an O-1A VisaTo qualify for an O-1A visa, you must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. *Extraordinary ability* means that you are one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of your field. You must be distinguished for a high level of achievement substantially above average, and be considered prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known in your field. To prove extraordinary ability, you can provide evidence of a one-time achievement, such as winning a Nobel Prize, or, alternatively, demonstrate that you meet at least 3 of the following criteria:
Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized international experts;
Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the alien and his work in the field for which classification is sought;
Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought;
A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence;
Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought;
Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
How to Qualify for an O-1B VisaTo qualify for an O-1B visa, you must have a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry evidenced by skill and recognition significantly beyond the ordinary. You must be recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the motion picture and/or television field. To prove extraordinary achievements, you can submit evidence that you have received or been nominated for significant national or international awards or prizes in your field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director*s Guild Award. You could also show that you meet at least 3 of the following criteria:
Performed or 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;
Achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as shown by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications;
A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as shown by such indicators as title, rating or standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications;
Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field in which the alien is engaged, with the testimonials clearly indicating the author*s authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien*s achievements;
A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as shown by contracts or other reliable evidence.
As part of your application, you must submit a written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor unions) or a person designated by the group with expertise in your area of ability, unless you can demonstrate that such an appropriate peer group does not exist in your field.