O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

The O-1 nonimmigrant category is for people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics or who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. To qualify for an O-1 in the Sciences, Education, Business or Athletics, a person must have either of the following:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award (e.g. the Nobel Prize), or
  • At least three (3) of the following apply to him/her:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in his/her field.
    • Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements of its members, as judged by national or international experts in the field.
    • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the person, concerning the person's work in the field.
    • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field.
    • Scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.
    • Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in professional journals or other major media.
    • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
    • High salary or other remuneration commanded by the person for services.
    • Other comparable evidence.

O-1 Petitions at UC Berkeley

If your academic department is interested in pursuing an O-1 petition on your behalf, ask your department to contact Berkeley International Office at h1b@berkeley.edu for more information. Processing of an O-1 status request can take six months or more, so the process should be started with Berkeley International Office at least six to twelve months in advance. If the decision is made to pursue an O-1 case the Berkeley International Office will contact the law firm that the university has retained for the filing such cases on behalf of the University.