O-1B: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability in the Arts or Extraordinary Achievement in Motion Picture or Television Industry

The O-1B visa is recommended for individuals who are considered leaders in the arts who have a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The O-1B is also available for individuals in the motion picture or television industry who can demonstrate a record of “extraordinary achievement.” In order to apply for an O-1, you must be sponsored by a U.S. employer or agent on either a part-time or full-time basis.

General Requirements:

Distinction in the Art or Extraordinary Achievement in Motion Picture or TV Industry Petitions should include evidence of at least 3 of the following:

  • lead in production having a distinguished reputation
  • critical reviews in major newspapers or trade journals
  • lead for organization that has a distinguished reputation
  • record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes
  • significant recognition from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field
  • has commanded or will command a high salary.

Common Occupations:

  • Artist
  • Film Director
  • Actor/Actress

Filing Process:

In the past couple of years, USCIS has been pretty strict in reviewing O-1 petitions, usually requiring more evidence than is necessary to adjudicate the case. Therefore, the O-1 petition would be a very “document-heavy” filing, which requires extensive evidence to prove you’re top in your field. As USCIS applies a very high level scrutiny to these types of cases, it is very important to evaluate all evidence available and present your strengths accordingly.


O-1 petitions can be approved for up to 3 years at a time, depending on the length of the job offer/itinerary submitted with the petition. Currently, there is no limit on the number of extensions an individual may receive.

At this time, we are committed to the health and safety of our clients, our staff and our community. The government continues to accept applications and process them as normal. We are equipped to continue to prepare and process all cases. Please keep in mind that most cases take months to process. We want to continue to prepare and process these cases, so that when we do get through this crisis, you will not have lost crucial processing time. We will perform all consultations over the phone and can be best reached through our contact form.