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Home > Visas > Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

O-1 Visas for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

The O-1 visa permits an alien of extraordinary ability to come to the United States to temporarily work or engage in his or her field of expertise.

In order to qualify for an O-1 nonimmigrant visa it must be established that the applicant is of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim; and that the applicant's achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation; and that the applicant seeks to enter the United States to continue work in his or her area of extraordinary ability.

To establish that an applicant is of extraordinary ability and qualifies for an O-1 visa the following must be submitted:

  1. Documentation of a major one-time achievement, such as receipt of a major award, (e.g., Nobel Prize or Pulitzer Prize); OR,
  2. At least three of the following types of documentation:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the applicant’s field;
    • Membership in associations in the relevant field that require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field;
    • Published material in professional or major trade publications or media about the applicant. This material must relate to the applicant's work in the relevant field, and must include the title, date and author of the published material;
    • Evidence that the applicant acted as a judge of others' work in the same or related field, individually or as a member of a panel;
    • Evidence of the applicant's original scientific or scholarly contributions of major significance in the field, or authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media;
    • Evidence of the applicant's employment in a "critical or essential capacity'' for an organization or establishment with a distinguished reputation;
    • Evidence of the applicant's past, present or future high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services as compared to others in the field.

Along with meeting the above criteria a consultation letter will also be required. A consultation letter for an O-1 applicant must address the applicant’s ability and achievements in the relevant area of expertise. This letter must come from a United States based association that governs the applicant’s peers activities in the United States.

If you would like to learn more about your specific visa options please send a request to us at:


or contact

Leibl & Kirkwood
12865 Point Del Mar, Suite 190
Del Mar, CA 92014, USA
Tel. (858) 481-5211
Fax. (858) 481-7271



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