Visas for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability (O-1) and Aliens Accompanying O-1 Visa Holders (O-2)
This category is for those individuals whose extraordinary skills and abilities in the areas of science, the arts, education, business, or athletics have been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in motion picture and television productions. Most artists and athletes will require either a P or B-1 visa. The authority to determine whether an individual meets the standard for the O visa lies solely with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The Petition Process
The sponsor in the United States must file a petition at the office of the USCIS having jurisdiction over the place where the event will be held. Such petitions cannot be filed by the party in the Philippines, and cannot be filed with the Embassy.
The USCIS can provide guidance as to the proper type of visa required, as well as the details of how to file the petition. Petition processing times by the USCIS may vary; please check directly with the appropriate USCIS office. Once the applicant received an approved petition, or notice of the approval from the USCIS (Form I-797), s/he may apply for a nonimmigrant visa.
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of the O-1 visa holder (O-2 has no derivative) may be given O-3 visa if they seek to accompany or "follow to join" the primary visa holder.
How To Apply
To apply, please check the Nonimmigrant Visa Application Procedures page. In addition to the basic documentary requirements, as specified on the application procedures Step 2, the applicant must submit/comply with the following additional documentary requirements:
For Principal Applicants
- Copy of Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker)
- Original of Form I-797 (Notice of Approval )
- Evidence of ties and financial status of the applicant, or the applicant’s parents, if minor, in the Philippines (for O-2 visa applicants only)
For Dependents Of O-1
- Copy of principal’s Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker)
- Copy of principal’s Form I-797 (Notice of Approval )
- Copy of principal’s nonimmigrant O-1 visa
- In some cases, additional documents may be requested.
- All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted, unless specified. The applicant must submit these documents to the interviewing consular officer during the interview. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit does not accept documents before the interview. Any documents received will not be returned and will be destroyed. Please note, however, that presentation of the documents will not guarantee visa issuance. Applicants must still qualify for the type of visa being sought.
Please feel free to visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
Last Update :: 01/27/2010
Nonimmigrant Visa Unit (NIV) is open for business Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on U.S. and Philippine Holidays.