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O-1: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement 

  • Overview

    O-1 temporary workers possess extraordinary ability, are among the top 1–2% of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field, and are coming to the United States to continue work in their area of extraordinary ability on a temporary basis.  O-1 scholars must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim.

    Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
    • O-1 status is initially granted for up to 3 years.
    • Extensions can be granted in 1-year increments, and technically there is no maximum length of stay. However, since O-1 is meant to be a temporary employment status, we recommend consulting with VIS if extending beyond 6 years.

    More Info

  • Initiating an O-1 Request

    Initiating an O-1 Request

    Step 1: Confirm the prospective O-1 has an Empl ID
    Step 2: Check that all information in PeopleSoft is correct
    Step 3: Prepare the required documents
    Step 4: Initiate the Immigration Counsel Referral request
    Step 5: Wait for the employee to submit their biographical information
    Step 6: Screening against Deemed Export Controls
    Step 7: VIS will conduct a preliminary review


  • O-1 Legal & Application Fees

    O-1 Legal & Application Fees

    The following legal and government fees could be paid either fully or partially by the employee, if desired.

    Legal Fees

    O-1 petitions are referred for processing by the SUNY-approved immigration counsel firm. The immigration counsel firm charges a $3,900 legal fee for processing.

    USCIS Fees

    USCIS fees are required for all O-1 petitions. The SUNY-approved immigration counsel firm (Harris Beach) will front the payment of these fees and issue an invoice to departments to pay within 30 days from the date of notice.

    • $460: Standard filing fee for O-1 petitions
    • $2,500: Premium Processing is an expedited service that is available for O-1 petitions. USCIS guarantees that within 15 days they will issue either a final adjudication decision or a Request for Evidence (RFE). If USCIS fails to process the petition within 15 days, it will refund the fee. Premium Processing may be requested simultaneously with the USCIS petition or at a later date, if necessary. **Effective 2/26/2024 the fee will increase to $2,805**

    In the event a request for evidence (RFE) is issued, or additional services are required, departments will first be notified of any additional legal fees.