Our Blog

What is the O-1 Employment-Based Visa and How Do I Know If I Qualify?

May 20, 2023
  • Business Immigration

he O-1 visa is a type of visa that allows foreign nationals with extraordinary abilities in a particular field or career to work in the United States for a temporary period of time. What do we mean when we say “extraordinary abilities”? This visa is basically for people who are in the top of their field, such as science, education, business, athletics, or the arts. Generally, you must have sustained national or international reputation in your field, or a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and you must be coming to work in the United States to continue work in the area. 

The O-1 Visa is classified into two types: 

  1. O-1A Visa: This is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the sciences, education, business, or athletics.
  1. O-1B Visa: This is for individuals with extraordinary abilities in the arts, motion picture, or television.

To qualify for the O-1 visa category, a foreign national must demonstrate extraordinary abilities in their respective fields through evidence of awards, recognition from peers, and publications, among other things. Applicants should also have a job offer from a U.S. employer or agent who specializes in their field. This visa requires that the foreign national is sponsored by a U.S. employer. 

The O-1 visa allows individuals to work in the United States for up to three years with the possibility of extensions in one-year increments. The visa also allows for family members to accompany the applicant to the United States, and for the applicant to travel in and out of the country without losing their visa status. 

Overall, the O-1 visa is a perfect fit for highly skilled and talented individuals who want to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis. 

Some examples of people who might qualify for an O-1 visa include: 

  • A world-renowned scientist who has won numerous awards for their research 
  • A successful businessperson who has founded and led a successful company 
  • An Olympic athlete who has won multiple medals 
  • A famous actor or actress who has starred in major films or television shows 
  • A world-renowned musician who has sold millions of albums 

Want to learn more about these O-1 visa categories? Want to see if you qualify for one of these visas, or other types of employment-based visas? Click here to book a consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys to determine your eligibility