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O-1 Visa Is Based on a Person’s Individual Qualifications

Hi William:

In my home country, our group of motion pictures once received a national award. Can I apply for O-1 visa based on this national acclaim as a leading member of the group?


O-1 visas are available to people who have not only a job offer in the U.S., but proven extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. In general, the person must 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 a person’s individual qualifications. Being a members of a group or team will not, by itself without other achievements, qualify someone for an O-1 visa. The O visa classification is commonly referred to as:

O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)

O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry

O-2: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance.  For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1

O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s

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