Immigration Services

Immigration Services

For Artists & Entertainers


O-1 Nonimmigrant Visa for Individuals of Extraordinary Ability in Arts, Motion Picture or Television Arts


In order to qualify in the O-1 category in the arts, which includes the performing arts, fine arts, visual arts, and culinary arts, you must demonstrate "distinction" in your filed. Distinction is defined as "a high level of achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered." In other words, you must show through evidence that you are considered "prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known" in your field of arts.

In order to qualify in the O-1 category in the motion picture or television arts, you must demonstrate a "record of extraordinary achievement" in your field. Extraordinary achievement is defined as "a very high level of accomplishment evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered." In other words, you must show through evidence that you are considered "outstanding, notable or leading" in the motion picture or television field.

The O-1 legal standard can be demonstrated through either evidence of a one-time achievement (a major internationally recognized award such as an Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, British Academy Award or Director's Guild Award), or through evidence of at least three (3) of the following regulatory criteria:
  • Performing services as a leading or starring participant in productions or events with distinguished reputations as shown by critical reviews, ads, publicity releases, publications, contracts or endorsements.
  • Receipt of national or international recognition for achievements through critical reviews or other published material by or about you in major papers, trade journals or other professional publications.
  • Performing in a lead, starring or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by media articles, testimonials and the like.
  • Record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes.
  • Significant recognition from organizations, critics, government agencies or recognized experts.
  • Evidence that you have either commanded or will command a high salary or other remuneration in relation to others in the field.

As part of the process, the law also mandates that a consultation letter from a relevant union or management group be submitted.

Spouses and children of O-1 holders will be classified as O-3 "dependents". Holders of O-3 status are not entitled to work in the United States.


21700 Oxnard Street, Suite 860, Woodland Hills, CA 91367 T 818.435.3500 F 818.435.3535 info@sostrinimmigration.com