O-1 Individual of Extraordinary Ability Requirements

In general, to qualify for the O-1 Individual of Extraordinary Ability category, the person seeking permanent residence (the beneficiary) must be able to show “sustained national or international acclaim” in the fields of sciences, education, business, or athletics (O-1A), or in the arts (O-1B (MPTV)). In all cases, an O-1 beneficiary must show recognition of achievement in the field through extensive documentation.

"Extraordinary ability" for the O-1 classification is defined by the regulations as follows:

  • "In the field of science, education, business, or athletics: a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

  • In the field of arts: distinction, defined as a high level of achievement in the field of arts, as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts."

To satisfy the O-1 evidentiary requirements, a beneficiary must document at least three of the following criteria:

O-1A

O-1B

1. Documentation of the beneficiary’s receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.

1. Evidence that the beneficiary has performed, and will perform, services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements.

2. Documentation of the beneficiary’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields.

2. Evidence that the beneficiary has achieved national or international recognition for achievements evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications.

3. Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the beneficiary, relating to the beneficiary's work in the field for which classification is sought. This evidence must include the title, date, and author of such published material and any necessary translation.

3. Evidence that the beneficiary has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials.

4. Evidence of the beneficiary's participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought.

4. Evidence that the beneficiary has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion pictures or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications.

5. Evidence of the beneficiary's original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.

5. Evidence that the beneficiary has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the beneficiary is engaged. Such testimonials must be in a form which clearly indicates the author's authority, expertise, and knowledge of the beneficiary's achievements.

6. Evidence of the beneficiary's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media.

6. Evidence that the beneficiary has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

7. Evidence that the beneficiary has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.

8. Evidence that the beneficiary has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.