O-1 visa is a document used to enter the United States for a purpose of work.

It is a nonimmigrant visa for individuals who possess an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.


Types of O-1 Visas


O-1 Visa Types


The O-1 visa has two subcategories:

  • O-1A: Sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
  • O-1B: Arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant must demonstrate national or international acclaim for extraordinary skills/ abilities

=> National/ international award, trophies, newspaper articles, magazine, journals, etc.

=> Written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) about the beneficiary’s skills

=> Proof of membership that requires outstanding achievements

=> High salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence



Application Process


O-1 Visa Application Processing Big Box Text Effect


1. I-129 petition filed by the US employer

=> Either California or Vermont depending on the work location

=> Processing time: 2-3 weeks  => I-797 is issued after approval


2. Application for O1 visa made by the beneficiary

=> DS160 online application

=> Scheduling an interview

=> Visa approval, OR


=> If applicable, file an I-539 (Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) within the US

=> Processing time: 2-3 months