Individuals may be eligible for USCIS employment authorization based on their demonstration of sustained national or international acclaim in the sciences, arts, education, or business. Employment in this category is for those who possess "extraordinary ability" and should be considered only if the visitor is ineligible for other classifications. This is generally true because of the extensive documentation required in order to meet USCIS standards of "extraordinary." This category is not appropriate for new graduates or for those with few professional accomplishments of the requisite caliber.
The process requires that the employer file the appropriate petition with the immigration service center. The petition must then be supported with at least three categories of convincing evidence as listed in the regulations. Labor certification is not required. However, the employer is responsible for the cost of return transportation abroad should the employee be dismissed for any reason prior to the expiration of the petition. An individual cannot self-petition.
While the Office of International Programs does not prepare or submit O-1 petitions to the USCIS, should an applicant be identified for employment that is ineligible for any other type of employment authorization, the hiring department may file a request with the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs for an O-1 petition. The department or applicant will be responsible for attorney's fees associated with the filing.
For answers to questions not addressed in this section or to discuss employment options, please contact an Immigration Advisor.