O Visa for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

O Visas are for foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. There is no statutory limitation of the period of stay for O status.

Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business and athletics must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field by providing evidence of:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award, or
  • At least 3 of the following:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized awards for excellence
    • Memberships in associations that require excellence
    • Published material about the foreign national’s work
    • Serving as a judge of the work of others
    • Contributions of major significance in the field
    • Employment in a critical capacity for organization and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
    • High salary or other remuneration commanded
    • Other comparable evidence

Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts must show “distinction” in the field. “Distinction” means a high level of achievement in the field of arts. This is demonstrated by providing evidence of:

  • Nomination for a significant national or international award, or
  • At least 3 of the following:
    • Performance of a lead role in productions/events with distinguished reputations
    • Critical reviews or other published material about the work
    • A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success
    • Receipt of significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts
    • Commands a high salary or other remuneration
    • Other comparable evidence