O-1 Visa for Workers with Extraordinary Abilities

O-1 Visa Benefits

Grants priority visa status to high-achieving individuals.


No cap on the number of visas issued each year.

Key Takeaways

Premium processing is available for this visa category.


Dependents may accompany the O-1 holder. They aren’t authorized to work, but can study.

COLLAPSE/EXPAND ALL
Who’s eligible for O-1 visa sponsorship?

The special visa classification is for people who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business and athletics.

Extraordinary ability means the person has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor and is known internationally or nationally for his or her achievements.

Length of O-1 work authorization

The initial stay is three years.
The total stay varies.

O-1 visa requirements

Must prove an extraordinary ability, which means the person has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor and is known internationally or nationally for his or her achievements.

Consultation Requirement
To obtain an O-1 visa, a written advisory opinion might be required in the application from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of specialization. Not all O-1 visas require this.

O-1 visa extension options

Unlimited extensions granted up to one year.

Dependent visa availability

Spouses and unmarried children 21 years of age and under may accompany the O-1 holder with an O-3 nonimmigrant dependent visa classification. They are not authorized to work, and cannot apply for work authorization. However, they are allowed to study.

Green card sponsorship

O-1 visas are not dual intent, meaning holders may face international travel complications if they file a green card petition under this status. It’s recommended they switch to a dual intent visa, such as an H-1B Person in Specialty Occupation or L-1 Intracompany Transferee, before applying for legal permanent residency.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the O-1 visa consultation requirement?
To obtain an O-1 visa, a written advisory opinion might be required in the application from a peer group (including labor organizations) or a person designated by the group with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of specialization. Not all O-1 visas require this.
Which industries typically use the O-1 visa?
The industries that apply for an O-1 visa most often include sciences, education, business, athletics, arts and entertainment.

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O-1 VISA AVG PROCESSING TIME

TWO WEEKS

Our employees love getting that direct contact from the system and from the attorneys. They can submit their questions and they don’t have to worry that there’s an additional charge.
Ramona Poole

HR Coordinator

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