The O visa is for those individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or for those individuals with a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the movie or television industry.
The individual must be able to show that they have risen above others in their field and have received national and international recognition for their work. This visa allows the individual to temporarily come to the United States to work in his or her area of extraordinary ability.
To obtain an O visa, a company or organization must submit a petition to U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services. With certain exceptions, the petition must be accompanied by a written advisory opinion from a peer group related to the individual’s field of expertise and a written contract between the petitioner and the person seeking the visa.
For an O visa, the initial period of stay is up to three years and extensions may be granted in increments of up to one year.
Those accompanying O visa holders to provide support services in the fields of athletics, entertainment, and motion picture and television production may receive an O-2 visa. Family members of O-1 and O-2 visa holders are eligible to apply for an O-3 visa. While they may not work under this classification, an O-3 holder may study in the United States without a student visa.
O nonimmigrants may be eligible for a permanent immigrant visa, also known as a green card, based on their extraordinary ability.