Under federal law there are three different standards for the O-1 category:

  • the most exacting standard applies to those individuals in the sciences, education, business and athletics;
  • a much less rigorous standard applies to individuals in the arts;
  • an intermediate standard applies to individuals in the motion picture or TV industries.

The O-1 visa category is reserved for those individuals who have risen to the very top of their fields of endeavor and can provide documentary evidence to substantiate this claim. To qualify for O-1 visa status, an individual in the sciences, education, business or athletics must demonstrate national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  1. the receipt of a major, internationally recognized award
  2. at least three of the following:< >receipt of nationally
    -OR-internationally recognized prizes
    -OR-awards for excellence in the field of endeavormembership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements of its members
  3. other comparable evidence
  4. high salary or other remuneration commanded by the individual for services.(This must be accompanied by contracts or other reliable evidence.)
  5. employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
  6. authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media
  7. scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field. (This documentation should take the form of letters from peers who are considered to be experts in the field attesting to the individuals major contributions.)
  8. evidence of participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others. (This can include participation as a panel of experts for a Ph.D. defense and/or review of articles and books prior to publication.)
  9. published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the individual concerning his/her work in the field. (This documentation must include a copy of the article showing the title, date and author. If the article is not in English, a translation must be provided)