The O-1A visa is a temporary work visa designated for the individual who possesses an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics whose expertise has been recognized either nationally or internationally. To prove the extraordinary ability, the prospective applicant can demonstrate that he or she has received an internationally recognized prize, such as the Nobel Prize. If there is no such record for receiving an award, the applicant can show his or her extraordinary ability in the fields with published materials, memberships in associations, or other documents that can show the extraordinary ability in his or her field.


The O-1B visa is available for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the art, motion picture or television industry. The entertainers in a motion picture or television industry can demonstrate their abilities with an extraordinary achievement in the field. Such O-1B applicants include not only entertainers, professional technicians, but other non-principal performers in the field as well.


The O-2 visa is applicable for accompanying persons who assist an O-1 visa holder in the field of athletics, motion picture or television production. The O-2 visa applicants must be an integral part of the performance whose expertise and experience has a nature irreplaceable by others. The derivative family members of O-1 and O-2 visa holders may stay in the U.S. with O-3 visas, but are not eligible for employment authorization.


To apply for an O visa, the applicant must obtain an advisory opinion from a peer group. After acquiring the advisory opinion, the applicant must file the I-129, proof specified in the particular section for the O visa classification, filing fee and so forth to the USCIS. If the USCIS approves, the applicant can submit the petition to the U.S. consulate in the applicant’s home country and receive the visa through an interview.


The applicant for the O visa is admitted up to a period of three years. The O visa may be extended if the applicant meets the O visa qualification and his or her activity or event has not been completed within the initial period of stay. The O visa holder is allowed to enter the U.S. up to 10 days prior to the first day of employment and is allowed to remain 10 days after the validity period ends.