O-1A Visa – How do I prove that I have extraordinary ability in my field?

The O-1A visa is for individuals who are recognized as being at the very top of their field and who are coming to the United States to continue work in that field. To meet the eligibility criteria for an O-1A visa you must either have received a major, internationally recognized award, similar to a Nobel Prize, or submit evidence that affirmatively answers at least 3 of the 8 questions below:

  • Have you received a lesser nationally or internationally recognized prize or award for excellence in the field of endeavor?
  • Are you a member of any associations which require outstanding achievements of their members as judged by recognized national or international experts?
  • Is there published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about you which relates to your work in the field?
  • Have you participated on a panel or individually as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization?
  • Have you made original scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance?
  • Have you authored scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media?
  • Have you been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation?
  • Have you or will you command a high salary or other remuneration for your services?

O-1B Visa Individuals with Extraordinary Achievement

O-1B Classification

  • Possess extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.
  • Must demonstrate that achievements have been recognized in the field “through extensive documentation”.
  • Dual intent is recognized, and there is no need to maintain foreign residence.
  • Cannot petition for themselves. Must use a US agent where self-employment or where there is a foreign employer.


  • The person must be outstanding or notable, and leading in the motion picture and/or television field.
  • Must demonstrate a very high level of accomplishment in the motion picture or TV industry evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that of ordinarily encountered.