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O-1 Status: Persons of Extraordinary Ability

As this status takes significantly more documentation than an H-1B, it is used at Old Dominion only when it is not possible to get the H-1B, in the past due to the H-1B cap. This status also does not have the requirement of meeting a "prevailing wage," but it would be rare that we would hire an individual that would qualify for an O-1 but to whom we would not pay the prevailing wage.

To be classified as an O-1, the employer must show that the individual has received a major, internationally recognized aware such as the Nobel Prize, or must submit documentation that shows that the person meets at least three of the following:

  1. A nationally or internationally recognized award or prize or excellence in the field
  2. Membership in associations in the field which require outstanding achievement, as judged by others in the field
  3. Published material by others about the alien's work in the field
  4. Participation individually or on a panel as a judge of the work of others in the field
  5. Evidence of original contributions of significance to the field
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles published in professional journals
  7. Evidence that the individual has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations having a distinguished reputation
  8. Evidence that the individual has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services

This petition is also filed with INS on form I-129, and takes 4-6 weeks or more for approval. An O-1 petition may be approved for an initial 3 years, with 1 year extensions beyond that. There is no limit to the amount of time someone may be in O-1 status.