Extraordinary Ability Aliens (O-1)

The "extraordinary ability" visa is granted based on a foreign national's prominence in his or her field of endeavor. You may email your resume to ptjensen@jensenlaw.com for an evaluation of your chances of success if we assist you to make this type of application.

Term

The O-1 visa may be granted for up to three years and thereafter may be renewed in one year increments, or until the project(s) is/are completed.

The Arts

The foreign national must document that he or she is prominent in his or her field by being nominated for or the recipient of a significant international or national award or prize, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award, or, more commonly, by documenting at least three of the following:

  1. Lead in productions having a distinguished reputation.
  2. Critical reviews in major newspapers or trade journals.
  3. Critical role for organisations with distinguished reputations.
  4. Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes.
  5. Significant recognition from organisations, critics, government agencies or other recognised experts in the field.
  6. Has commanded or will command a high salary.

Motion Picture or Television

The USCIS will use the same criteria as above, but apply a higher standard.

Science, Education, Business or Athletics

The foreign national must document that he or she has sustained national or international acclaim by receipt of a major internationally recognised award, or by documenting prominence in his or her field by at least three of the following:

  1. Receipt of nationally or internationally recognised prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavour.
  2. Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognised national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.
  3. Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the foreign national, relating to his or her work in the field for which classification is sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such.
  4. Evidence of the foreign national’s participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialisation to that for which classification is sought.
  5. Evidence of the foreign national's original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
  6. Evidence of the foreign national's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media.
  7. Evidence that the foreign national has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organisations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
  8. Evidence that the foreign national has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
  9. If the above criteria do not readily apply to the foreign national's occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the foreign national’s eligibility.

Self-employment

Foreign nationals cannot petition for themselves. The petition must be filed either by a direct employer or by an agent. The foreign national may use an agent if he or she plans to engage in multiple projects.

Peer Group Advisory Opinion Letter

The petition must be accompanied by a written advisory opinion from a peer group which could include a person or persons with expertise in the field or a labor organization with expertise in the specific field involved.