O-1 Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 nonimmigrant visa category is for the employment of individuals who have achieved and sustained national or international acclaim for extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. O-1 applications rely on high objectivity and a thorough review of the applicant’s professional credentials. Significant peer support must be provided and documented as part of an O-1 application. Given that O-1 petitions are highly complex in nature, UMass outsources all O-1 cases to retained immigration counsel at cost to the sponsoring department. A minimum 6-month advance notice is required to initiate a UMass-sponsored O-1 case.
If approved by the immigration service, initial O-1 applicants can receive an initial 3-years of O-1 immigration status. Beyond 3-years, O-1s can then be extended for a maximum of 12-months at a time, though there are no cumulative limits on the number of 12-month O-1 extensions an applicant can have. For individuals who held previous J-1 or J-2 immigration status in the U.S. and were subjected to the 2-year home residency requirement (section 212e), a waiver of the 2-year rule is not required for an O-1 petition.
Legally married spouses and dependents under the age of 21 may accompany the O-1 principal in O-3 immigration status. O-3 status does not permit work authorization in the U.S.
Please contact the IPO for further information or inquiries related to UMass O-1 immigration sponsorship.