O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visa
O visas are useful for highly talented or acclaimed individuals who may not qualify in other work-related nonimmigrant categories such as H, L, or J or who wish to avoid those categories for any reason. They are especially useful to artists, athletes, entertainers, and business people without professional degrees, and can be used by scientists and educators also. Also, the O visa can be used as an alternative to the H visa because there is no wage control and no cap. Moreover, there is no limit on the length of admission for an O-1 alien, except that it authorizes admission for the period of the "event" in question. In spite of this, the Immigration Service gives an initial validity period of three years to complete the event or activity in question. Extensions to continue or complete the same event/activity may be obtained in one-year increments. The O-3 category is for dependents of the foreigners seeking to enter in this category. The petition for an O visa is filed in the Immigration Service Center area where s/he will work. Foreigners cannot self-petition for this status; a US employer or a US Agent must file on the foreigner's behalf. If the Immigration Service approves the petition, it is forwarded to the US consulate where the alien will apply for his or her visa.