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How to Demonstrate the Extraordinary Ability in My O-1 Visa Application?

Hi William:

A company invited me to work on an ongoing research project in U.S. Now, I am considering the possibility to apply for O-1 Visa. How to understand the term "event" in the O-1 visa qualification criteria? and how to demonstrate the "extraordinary ability" in my O-1 visa application?


For qualification criteria of O-1 visa, the alien applicant should come to U.S. to work or perform at an event or a series of events in the area of extraordinary ability. The term “event" can be interpreted liberally not only in the fields of athletics or arts, but can also include an ongoing research project for a U.S. company.

To meet the O-1 visa requirement of extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics, the applicant must be able to show extraordinary ability, and receipt of sustained national or international acclaim for it. This can be demonstrated if the person has accomplished at least three of the following:

  • received a nationally recognized prize or award for excellence;
  • attained membership in associations that require outstanding achievements of their members in a particular field of expertise, as judged by recognized national or international experts;
  • been the subject of published material in professional or major trade publications or major media (regarding you and your work);
  • participated, on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in your field;
  • made an original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contribution of major significance to the field;
  • authored scholarly articles in professional journals or major media;
  • been previously employed in a critical or essential capacity for an organization with a distinguished reputation, or;
  • command or have commanded a high salary or other outstanding remuneration for your services.
If the above criteria do not readily apply to the applicant's occupation, the applicant can submit "comparable evidence" to show the “extraordinary ability”, and explain why the above criteria do not apply to the applicant.

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