O-1 Visa, Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
The O-1 visa is for the individual who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry, and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.
The O nonimmigrant classification covers several categories:
- O-1A: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts);
- O-1B: Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry;
- O-2: Individuals who will accompany an O-1 artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance; and
- O-3: Individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.
For more information, see our O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement page and read our policy on O nonimmigrant adjudications in USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 2, Part M.
Period of Stay
Your initial period of stay includes the time needed to complete the event or activity, not to exceed three years.
You may be eligible to extend your stay in increments of up to one year to continue or complete the same event or activity.
How to File
To begin the petition process, your employer or agent must:
- Read the instructions for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;
- Complete and sign Form I-129;
- Pay the filing fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
If your employer is filing as an agent for multiple employers, they should read the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 2, Part M, Chapter 3, about required conditions.
Want status updates about your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
After You File
Once we receive your Form I-129, your employer or agent will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming we received your petition;
- Biometric services notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.
If we approve the petition is approved, you can apply for the relevant O visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees, see the Department of State’s website.