Immigration Law Associates
Chicago Lawyer, Attorney: Green Card, H-1B, National Interest Waiver, J-1, Spouse, Fiance, Student Visa, VAWA, Citizenship, Removal, Korean, Polish, Japanese, Spanish

O Visas for Aliens of Extraordinary Ability


The O visa category is reserved for highly talented or acclaimed foreign nationals who may not qualify in other work-related nonimmigrant categories such as H, L, or J, or for those who wish to avoid those classifications for various reasons. It is especially useful to artists, athletes, entertainers, musicians, and professional chefs.

The period of authorized stay for the O category is for such time as is necessary to be present for the qualifying events/activities, but in any event no more than three years. Extensions to continue the same events/activities may be obtained for one year at a time.

Criteria for the O-1 Visa

In science, education, business or athletics, the foreign national must prove his or her "extraordinary ability" by providing evidence of the receipt of a "major, internationally recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize," or documentation of at least three of the following:

In the arts, extraordinary ability means "distinction," or "a high level of achievement in the field of arts as evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered…" This category requires only that the artist is "prominent in his/her field of endeavor." This can be evidenced either by receipt or nomination for a significant national or international award, such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director's Guild Award; or by meeting three of the following:

Immigration Law Associates, PC has many years of experience in preparing O visa applications on behalf of highly talented and acclaimed foreign nationals seeking to offer their talents and skills for employment in the U.S. For a detailed evaluation of your credentials, please submit your CV in our online form or call 847-763-8500.


Contact Us:

(847) 763-8500 via email

Visit Us:

8707 Skokie Blvd., Suite 302
Skokie, IL 60077
(Chicago Metro Area)


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