The International and Postdoctoral Services Office (IPSO) has prepared this information to assist departments in determining if sponsorship is appropriate for their hiring needs and how to facilitate an O-1 petition for adjudication by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). If you have any questions or need additional information, please email or call Jonathan Harwood, Coordinator of International Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-721-0670.
What is an O-1?
The O-1 nonimmigrant category was established for alien with extraordinary ability in three different categories:
Augusta University will petition for people who are eligible for category 1.
NOTE: These personnel can hold permanent positions as long as they depart the U.S. when the authorized period of stay expires or another valid nonimmigrant or immigrant status is obtained.
An O-1 petition establishes that Augusta University regards this individual as a person of extraordinary ability in the sciences.
In order to petition for the O category, Augusta University must comply with the following
Once USCIS grants the petition, the alien employee must obtain an O-1 nonimmigrant visa stamp from a U.S. Consulate to travel in and out of the U.S.
How does USCIS define a person of extraordinary ability?
To qualify as an O-1 in the sciences, education, business and athletics, the alien must be one of the small percentage of persons who has risen to the very top of his or her field of endeavor. The alien must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:
Who needs to file an O-1 petition?
An O-1 petition permits employment of an individual only for the employer who files the petition. Augusta University will only petition for personnel whom Augusta University wishes to employ. The hiring department must begin this process on behalf of new and continuing personnel.
When does an O-1 Petition need to be filed?
On average, it takes 60 to 180 days to obtain an O-1 petition. If the alien employee is not currently in the U.S., the process to obtain an O-1 visa adds additional time. It is recommended that a petition be filed with USCIS between 45 days and four months before the employee will begin services.
How long is an O-1 valid?
The O-1 petition is valid for the period of time necessary to complete the event or activity, not to exceed three years initially.
Requesting an Extension
Augusta University can extend employment of the O-1 alien in order to continue the same event or activities specified in the original petition for increments of one year at a time. Augusta University must submit a written statement explaining the reasons for the extension.
Can an employee seek both permanent residency and O-1 status at the same time?
Yes. Permanent Residence is considered an immigrant category, while an O-1 is considered a nonimmigrant category. The O-1 is not a prerequisite for Permanent Residence.
Will Augusta University petition for O-1 dependents (O-3 status)?
Yes, Augusta University will petition for dependents. There is a fee that must be paid by the beneficiary.
Who can be considered for 0-3 status?
Qualifying O-3 members are the spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years of age of the principal O-1 visa holder.
Can an 0-3 visa holder work while in the US?
No. An O-3 visa holder cannot legally work in the United States but may engage in full- or part-time study.