December 7, 2016


O-1 Visa  



O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement


The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses 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.

The O Visa for nonimmigrant classification covers several categories:

  • O-1A VISA: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts)
  • O-1B VISA: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
  • O-2 VISA: Individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance

    • For an O-1A Visa: and an O-1B Visa in the arts, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the performance.
    • For an O-1B Visa: in motion pictures or television, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the production.
    • The O-2 Visa: worker has critical skills and experience the O-1 cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1 Visa.

  • O-3 Visa: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s



To begin the petition process, the employer or agent must:

  • Complete the Form: I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker.Review the instructions for the Form I-129 and complete the Form I-129 and related Supplements.
  • Submit the Filing Fee(s): Include the appropriate filing fee with the Form I-129. Refer to Form I-129 instructions for further details.
  • Submit Evidence: Include all supporting documentation.
  • Sign and File the Form: I-129.File the petition at the correct filing location according to form instructions.

Note: There are certain requirements if you (the petitioner) are filing as an agent for multiple employers. 



Once USCIS receives your Form I-129, we will process the petition and you will then receive:

  • A receipt notice for the Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and
  • A written notice of a decision.

If the petition is approved, the employee (beneficiary of the petition) can apply for the relevant O visa.