8 CFR § 214.2(e): Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visas
To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the US to continue working in the area of extraordinary ability.
- Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
- Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts 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 qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.
Who can File and What to File
Any qualified US Employer or Agent can file Form I-129 at least 45 days before the beginning of their employment but not more than one year before their employment starts. Once the visa petition is approved by USCIS, the beneficiary can apply for an I-539 Change of Status with USCIS or US Consulate abroad.
Mandatory Initial Evidence
- Consultation - A written advisory opinion from a peer group (including labor organizations) with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability
- If the O-1 petition is for motion picture or television, the consultation must come from an appropriate labor union and a management organization with expertise in the beneficiary’s area of ability, except
- if petitioner can demonstrate that an appropriate peer group exists.
- A copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement showing:
- what was offered by the employer
- what was accepted by the employee
- No signatures by both parties but it must document the terms of the employment offered and that the beneficiary has agreed to the offer.
- Itineraries-An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities,