O-1 Visa & O-2 Visa  

O-1 is a temporary work visa or status for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, arts or athletics and individuals of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture and television industries.


To qualify as an alien of extraordinary ability in science, education, business or athletics, the alien must:

Have received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize, OR

Meet at least three of the following requirements: 


  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievements of their members; 
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien concerning the alien's work in the field; 
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field; 
  • Scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field; 
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media; 
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation; 
  • High salary or other remuneration commanded by the alien for services; or
  • Other comparable evidence.


An individual seeking an O-1 Visa or status must have a US employer as the sponsor. Therefore, a job offer is needed to file such petition. Additionally, an O-1 petition also requires consultations with an appropriate peer group which could include a person or persons with expertise in the field, labor or management organization regarding the proposed work and the beneficiary's qualifications.  

An O-1 visa holder is initially admitted to the United States for the duration of the event, production or activity, not to exceed 3 years. An O-1 visa can be extended till the time the individual accomplishes the task. Extension of stay can be granted in 1-year increments.


O-2 Visa

An O-2 visa is issued to the support personnel who accompany the O-1 visa holders, in the fields of athletics, entertainment, motion picture and television production.  This status is not available to those individuals related to the areas of science, business or education.  To be eligible for an O-2 visa, the alien must meet the following criteria:


  • Have a vital role in the central performance of the group.
  • Have essential skills and experience that is above average standards.
  • Have a committed professional association with the O-1-visa holder.
  • Must prove the possession of a foreign residence, which will not be abandoned. A specific date of exit should also be expressed.
  • Must gain a labor consultation from the Labor Organization stating that there are no American individuals who can assist and the O-2 beneficiary if essential for the fulfillment of the work of the O-1 visa holder.


O-3 Visa

O-3 visas are issued to the immediate family members (spouse and unmarried minor children) of the O-1 and the O-2 visa holders.


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