O-1 Visas are for individuals who have been recognized nationally or internationally and have either extraordinary ability in the sciences, business, education, arts, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in motions pictures or television. An O-1A Visa is for individuals in business, education, sciences or athletics. An O-1B Visa is for individuals in the arts, motion pictures or television.

The O-1 is a temporary work visa granted in three-year increments with one-year extensions—allowing individuals of extraordinary ability to work in the United States for a single employer or sponsor. A significant reason to consider an O-1 Visa is that essential assistants of the person with extraordinary ability can qualify for an O-2 Visa, which allows them entry into the United States for work as well. For example, a scientist might be able to obtain an O-2 Visa for an essential lab assistant or an actor may need an O-2 for a publicist.

O1 Visa to EB1 Green Card

The O1 also provides the advantage of allowing a non-immigrant visa holder to seek permanent residence in the United States. There is also a potential direct path to a Green Card from O-1 classification, through the EB-1 extraordinary ability in certain fields.


An example of an O-1A beneficiary includes a CEO, marketing strategist, or professional athlete, but they could also be an athletic program director, conference organizer, or cyber security expert, among others.

How do I qualify?

Applicants must show that they have received a major award in their fields, such as a Nobel Prize. In the absence of such an award, an applicant must provide evidence of at least three of the following:

  1. Awards or prizes for excellence in the field
  2. Membership in related associations that require outstanding achievements to join
  3. Published articles about the applicant and the applicant’s work in the field
  4. Significant and original contributions to the field
  5. Articles the applicant has authored that have been published in scholarly journals
  6. A salary that indicates the applicant has extraordinary ability
  7. Evidence that the applicant has been on a panel that judges others in the field or has done so individually
  8. That the applicant has been employed by a distinguished organization or establishment in an essential capacity

O-1B aka Artist Visa

An example of an O-1B beneficiary includes a fashion designer, photographer, or film director, but a dog groomer might also qualify for this type of visa if they can establish distinction in the field of dog grooming.

The O-1B is sometimes referred to as the artist visa because a great deal of people applying are artists, designers, film and music industry professionals.

O-1 Sponsor Requirements –

  1. To work in the USA, you must show a company in the US wants to hire you.
  2. The sponsor/employer can be either a U.S. Company, or an individual acting as an agent.
  3. You can work for multiple employers, as long as all job offers are submitted with your file.
How do I qualify?

O-1B Visa applicants must have won a major award, such as an Oscar or Grammy, or show evidence of at least three of the following:

  1. Evidence of past or future performances in a leading role or as a star participant in distinguished events or productions
  2. National or International recognition for past achievements
  3. Evidence of past or future performances as a lead or star participant for distinguished organizations or establishments
  4. Evidence of significant commercial success or critical recognition
  5. Recognition from critics, experts or government agencies for achievements in the field
  6. Evidence of receiving compensation for work that demonstrates an extraordinary ability as compared to the compensation received by others in the field

Our Personal Connection to the Artist Visa –

The Law Office of Tatiane M. Silva, P.A. has a dedicated respect and passion for the performing arts and thus provides a unique perspective and strong connection to clients pursing O-1 Visas.

Contact our employment-based immigration attorneys today!


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