People with exceptional abilities, their families and support personnel (O Visas)

O visas are available to people with exceptional abilities in science, arts, education, athletics, or business. To obtain O-1 classification, an alien must establish that he or she has achieved national or international acclaim. These individuals must prove that they are "world-class" in their field, meaning that their talent is recognized by others. There are four types of O category visas.


     O-1A visas are for individuals who are extraordinary in the fields of science, education, business, and athletics.

     O-1B visas apply only to the film industry

     O-2 visas may be issued people who come to assist the talented person, e.g. a personal assistant or athletic trainer.

     O-3 visas are available to the spouses and children of O-1 or O-2 visa holders.


O visas usually require employer’s sponsorship, meaning the beneficiary must secure an employment offer in the United States. However, there are limited exceptions for people who are engaged in the professions of recognized national importance or are aliens of extraordinary abilities. Those categories of applicants may be able to file an application for an O visa independently, without the support and guarantees of the U.S. employer. Consult an experienced immigration attorney if you suspect that you may qualify for this exception.

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