The O-1 non-immigrant status is intended for the very small group of persons who have reached the very top of their field of endeavor. This includes those who have achieved and sustained national or international acclaim for extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts and education and who might come to the University as researchers, professors or artists. Others in business, athletics, motion pictures and television may also be eligible.
The first way to demonstrate "international acclaim" is to receive a Nobel Prize or other major, internationally recognized award of equal stature. Alternatively, evidence can be presented that an individual meets at least three of eight criteria.
These criteria include:
The O-1 application is a high priority application intended to provide a fast and easy way to bring leading figures in a field to the United States. The main problem is in gathering the quality and quantity of documentation required to support the application. Because of the high standard of evidence of eligibility, the O-1 status is used infrequently.
O-1 status can be granted initially for up to three years with yearly extensions thereafter. There is no maximum period specified.