Overview of the O-1 Category

Duke Visa Services (DVS) designed this information to provide the Duke community a very short overview of the O-1 category. Duke Administrators interested in pursuing this category for international employees should contact their Visa Services Department Liaison.

O-1 classification is for those who have extraordinary ability in their academic field “demonstrated by national or international acclaim recognized in the field through extensive documentation” requested to work for specific employer for a specifically prescribed project/program. “Extraordinary ability” is defined as a “level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor”. [8 CFR 214.2(o)(3)(II)] This must be established to the satisfaction of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through a variety of documentation.

Physicians who will have any patient care responsibilities must obtain an appropriate North Carolina license for the appointment from the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners prior to filing the petition.

There is no explicit maximum time limit in the regulations as to how long a scholar may remain in the O-1 classification. However, DHS will only grant O-1 classification for up to three years initially. It is then possible to apply for one-year extensions after the initial O-1 approval, but only so long as the primary purpose for which the scholar was admitted is continuing.

Visa Application and Entry to the United States

Detailed information for each Duke Sponsored visa category can be found on our Visa Application and Entry into the United States webpage.

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