O-1A Extraordinary Ability in Business

Extraordinary Ability Visas (O-1A) in Science, Education, Business, Athletics

An alien of extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award, such as the Nobel Prize; OR at least three of the following forms of documentation:

  • Documentation of the alien’s receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  • Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such published material, and any necessary translation;
  • Evidence of the alien’s participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization to that for which classification is sought;
  • Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  • Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media;
  • Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  • Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

If the above criteria do not readily apply comparable evidence may be submitted in order to establish eligibility.

Legal Resources



Adjudicators Field Manual

USCIS Web Page


USCIS Contact Information for O & P Consultation (Advisory Opinion) Organizations

USCIS RFE Template I-129 O-1A SEBA (Science, Education, Business, Athletics)

USCIS Policy Memo on O Petition Validity Period [July 2010]

USCIS Policy Memo on Requirements for Agents and Sponsors for the O and P Visas [Nov 2009]

USCIS Stakeholder Conference re: O Visas Agents as Petitioners [April 2011]

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