The O-1 category is for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. The O-2 category is for certain aliens accompanying O-1 aliens in the arts or athletics. The O-3 category is for dependents of aliens in the foregoing categories.
Persons holding O-1 visa fall under the EB-1 category. They do not require Form ETA 9089/PERM to be filed in order to initiate their green card process. They are eligible to file for their permanent residency without requiring an employer to initiate the process for them
O-1 beneficiaries in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics must have extraordinary ability "demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim."
"Extraordinary" is a high standard when applied to business persons, scientists, educators, and athletes, and a much lower one when applied to artists and entertainers. Artists and entertainers in the television and motion picture industries must show "a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement," a standard that falls somewhere in the middle. The achievements of all types of O-1 beneficiaries must be "recognized in the field through extensive documentation."
Scientists, Educators, Business Persons, and Athletes
The petitioner must prove "extraordinary ability" by providing evidence either of the beneficiary’s receipt of a "major, internationally recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize" (and while perhaps insufficient on their own as evidence, nominations and placements for such awards), or documentation of at least three of the following:
Artists and Entertainers (Except for Those Affiliated with Motion Picture or Television Productions)
Petitioners must show that the O-1 beneficiary artist meets the standard of distinction, i.e., is recognized as being prominent in his or her field, either by showing that the beneficiary has been nominated for or has received a significant national or international award or prize, such as an "Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award" (despite their inapplicability to the performing arts!), or with evidence that the beneficiary meets at least three of the following:
Again, USCIS permits "comparable evidence" to be submitted.
Our Attorneys have extensive experience with filing successful O-1 Petitions. For more information regarding O-1 visa or for specific case evaluation please contact our office.
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