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Can I Apply for O-1 Visa? What Are the O-1 Visa Qualification Requirements?

Hi William,

As a research associate with Master degree in a
private company, I could not get H-1B visa due to the visa quota. Can I apply for O-1 visa? and what are the qualification requirements?


The O-1 visa is available to an alien applicant who has a job offer in the United States, with proven extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. The O-1 visa applicant should have received national or international acclaim in a particular field, or if working in motion pictures or television productions, have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement.

O-1 visas can be given only on the basis of an alien applicant's individual qualifications. Being a members of a group or team will not, by itself, qualify the alien applicant for an O-1 visa. Also, the alien applicant should come to the United States working or performing at an event or a series of events in the area of extraordinary ability. The term "event" is interpreted liberally outside the fields of athletics and arts, and it can include an ongoing research project for a private company or university.

A job offer from a U.S. employer is a basic requirement for the O-1 visa applicant. There is no annual visa limit on the number of alien applicants who can receive the O-1 visas. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the O-1 visa include:

1) The O-1 visas can be issued quickly by USCIS. The O-1 visa holder can work legally in the United States for the O-1 visa employer. If the O-1 worker wants to change jobs, a new visa application is required.

2) The O-1 visas will be issued for the length of time necessary for a particular event in the United States, up to a maximum of 3 years, with unlimited extensions in 1-year increments.

3) The O-1 visa holder and the family members can travel in and out of the United States, or stay continuously in the United States for as long as the O-1 status are valid.

4) The O-1 visa holder's spouse and unmarried children under age 21 can accompany the O-1 visa holder, but they could not accept employment with the O-2 visa in the United States.

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