The O-1 visa is acquired by aliens with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics. The achievements of persons in this category have to be over and above their counterparts in the same field.
In respect to extraordinary achievement or ability in the arts, the alien applicant would need to satisfy the following criteria to qualify for an O-1 visa:
1. Evidence that the alien has been nominated for or has been the recipient of significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy award, an Emmy, a Grammy or a Directors Guild Award;
2. Or satisfy three of the following criteria:
(a) Evidence that the alien has performed and will perform services as a lead or starring participant in productions of events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements.
(b) Evidence that the alien has achieved national or international recognition for achievements evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in major newspapers, trade journals, or other publications.
(c) Evidence that the alien has performed in a lead, starring or critical role for organisations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers or trade journals.
(d) Evidence that the alien has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, credit for original research or product development, motion picture or television ratings and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications.
(e) Evidence that the alien has received significant recognition for achievements from organisations, critics, government agencies, or other recognised experts in the field in which the alien is engaged. Such testimonials must be in a form that clearly indicates the authors authority, expertise and knowledge of the alien’s achievements.
(f) Evidence that the alien has commanded or now commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
3. If the above standards do not readily apply to the alien’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the alien’s eligibility for O-1 visa status.