National Immigration Services
An Immigration Law Firm


Green Cards
Temporary Visas
Hire our law firm
About us
Download free forms
Buy Immigration books



O-1 temporary visas for extraordinary individuals 


As one working in the arts and entertainment industry, do you have "distinction"? The INS defines this as having a high level of achievement in the arts as manifested by a level of skill and recognition that is significantly above that typically encountered to the degree that a person described as prominent or well-known in the arts is described.

Note that this category is not simply limited to performers but also to individuals who are active behind the scenes. These may include lighting designers, choreographers, conductors, costume designers, animal trainers, and fight masters.

For those in the motion picture  or TV industry,, the standard to be met is more rigorous. The alien has to show that s/he has a "very high level of accomplishment in the motion picture or TV industry evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extend that the person is recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the motion picture or TV field." The effect of this standard is that someone who is only  well-known may not necessarily qualify as an extraordinary alien. Nonetheless, this standard does not require that the alien  be in the top 1% of his or her profession.

To prove eligibility for either of these two categories, the applicant can produce any of the following:

  1. Proof that the alien has been nominated or has received significant national or international awards like an academy award    OR

  2. At least three of the following forms of documentation

  1. that the alien will perform a lead role in distinguished productions or events;

  2. For her achievements, the alien has received national or international acclaim;

  3. That the alien has performed a lead role for an organization with a distinguished reputation

  4. The alien has a record of success (either commercially or with critical acclaim).

  5. The alien has been significantly recognized by organizations or experts in the field in which the A is engaged in.

The alien has received high remuneration for her services.




Copyright 1997-2001 National Immigration Services All Rights Reserved

This is an advertisement, no attorney/client relationship is established by viewing the contents of this site. As immigration law is constantly changing, information is provided as-is and does not constitute legal advice. Visitors are urged to contact experienced immigration counsel for their immigration matters.