Faculty and Staff Resources

O-1
(Persons of Extraordinary Ability)
Immigration Information

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:

  1. national or international awards in the field
  2. published materials in professional journals or major media concerning the individual's work in the field
  3. membership in associations requiring recognition of outstanding work in the field
  4. evidence of acting as a judge of others' work in the field
  5. evidence of original scientific contribution of major significance in the field,
  6. evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in the field
  7. evidence of employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation in the field
  8. evidence of commanding a high salary within the field

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.