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What Are the Qualification Requirements for O-1 Visa Application?

Hi William:

I am a researcher in the field of Medical Science, and I have many publications. I want to come to the United States to work for a large laboratory. Can I apply for O-1 visa (not H-1B visa)? and what are the qualification requirements? 


O-1 visas are available to alien applicants who have job offer in the United States, but also have proven extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. In general, the alien applicants should have national or international acclaim in a field, and have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement.

The O-1 visa application is based on a person’s individual qualifications, and the person should come to the United States to work or perform at an event or a series of events in the area of extraordinary ability. The term event can include an ongoing research project for a private company.

For many people, an O-1 visa is a good alternative to an H-1B visa. O-1 applicants need to prove their extraordinary ability through their past accomplishments and letters of recommendation from experts in their field.

In the sciences, education, business, or athletics, applicants must prove they are at the top of their fields with their professional accomplishments, such as publications, awards, or experience judging the work of others in the field. Applicants in the arts, film, or TV must prove they have acquired “distinction”, through their professional accomplishments. 

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