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O-1 Visa

O-1 Visa | Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

Serving San Antonio, Austin and McAllen

What Is an O-1 Visa?

O-visas are a special class of entry clearance designed to facilitate the entry of individuals who possess “extraordinary abilities” or have produced “extraordinary achievements.” O-1 visas are reserved for certain foreign nationals who can demonstrate that they have attained the pinnacle of honor and recognition in their respective fields. These documents may be extended to a wide range of leaders, experts and public figures. These are temporary, non-immigrant visas that last for renewable one-year terms. If you would like to obtain an O-1 visa for yourself or someone you know, please get in touch with an 0-1 visa lawyer at the Gutierrez Law Firm.


There are several clear benefits of O-1 visas. First, these documents can be extended to virtually anyone who has demonstrated extraordinary ability or achievement. Common recipients of O-1 visas include:

  • Renowned scientists and literary figures, including Nobel Prize winners
  • Recognized civil rights leaders
  • Revered religious or spiritual leaders
  • Internationally-recognized entertainers, artists and political figures

Other types of individuals may qualify on a case-by-case basis.

O-1 visa holders may remain in the United States for as long as they need to complete their activities. Due to the high profile of most O-1 visa holders, the application process is generally straightforward and streamlined. There are no numerical quotas for this type of visa.


There are several key qualifications that every O-1 visa applicant must meet. Even applicants who have undeniable name recognition or international popularity must abide by these requirements. First, applicants must be able to claim at least three of the following:

  • International prizes or awards
  • Membership in elite clubs or organizations
  • Distinguished contributions to scholarly journals, trade publications and other important journals
  • Distinguished panel membership
  • Evidence of published studies or stories that treat the applicant as a subject
  • “Critical” employment in a scientific, medical or political field
  • Above-average compensation for regular and consulting employment

In most cases, an O-1 visa applicant must be sponsored by an employer, educational institution or trade organization. The applicant must be able to produce a formal contract with the sponsoring entity. An 0-1 visa lawyer can explain the requirements to you in detail.


There are a few minor drawbacks to the O-1 visa. First, individuals who lack clear evidence of extraordinary achievements may not be eligible to receive this document. In addition, this is a short-term visa. Although it may be extended indefinitely, such extensions may be denied under certain circumstances. For instance, an O-1 visa holder who appears to be avoiding a return to his or her politically-repressed homeland may need to apply for asylum or another type of visa in order to remain in the United States.

How the Gutierrez Law Firm Can Help

The professional O-1 visa attorneys at the Gutierrez Law Firm are committed to helping special individuals from all over the world secure legal entry into the United States. We can work with the organizations that sponsor O-1 visa applicants as well as the applicants themselves.

To learn more about the process of obtaining a visa, call an O-1 visa lawyer today at 210.225.7114.

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