O-1A Science Athletics Ets.

8 CFR § 214.2(o): Temporary Nonimmigrant Work Visa

The O-1A visa is given to individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry).

Who can File and What to File

Any qualified US Employer or Agent can file Form I-129. 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 Evidence

  • Evidence that the beneficiary has received a major, internationally-recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize, or

  • evidence of at least (3) three of the following:


  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor

  • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field

  • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought


  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field

  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought

  • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence


  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought

  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation

  • If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility.

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