Businesses may hire foreign employees with “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics” to come work temporarily in the United States. A genetic engineer who has written extensively on modified food or an Olympic athlete who has won multiple medals in their respective sport are examples of qualified applicants for the O-1 Visa. In order to qualify for this visa program, the foreign national must prove their high level of expertise in a given field by winning an internationally-recognized award, such as the Noble Prize, or by meeting three of the following criteria to prove extraordinary ability:

  • Professional publications written by others documenting the individuals work in a particular field.
  • Evidence of the foreign national’s participation as a judge on the work of others within their field of specialty.
  • Membership in an association in the field of extraordinary ability, which requires outstanding achievement for membership.
  • Evidence of the foreign national’s original significant contribution in their respective field.
  • Evidence of the foreign worker’s authorship of articles in the field published in major media or professional journals.
  • Evidence of past employment with distinguished organizations or establishments which serve as an authority in the field of endeavor.
  • Evidence of high salary for services in relation to other peers in the field.

The O-1 Visa is granted for an initial stay of three years; however, the Visa may be extended in one year increments for the duration of the foreign employee’s work in the United States. Unlike most of the temporary nonimmigrant visas, there is no maximum length of stay in the U.S. for holders of the O-1 Visa. Our attorneys can assist you in obtaining an advisory opinion to prove eligibility and in the preparation of the O-1 petition and supporting documentation.