O-1 sponsorship is available to full-time faculty and high-level researchers who have been precluded from obtaining H-1B status due to the H-1B quota limitations, or those who have been unable to obtain a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement 212(e). For those who are subject to the two-year home residence requirement, the international visitor must realize that he/she must travel outside the United States to obtain the O-1 visa once the petition is approved.

The O-1 is NOT to be used for training positions such as Clinical Resident or Fellow. An O-1 visa petition will be supported by DGSOM only when the applicant has applied for internal approval, been approved by the Dean’s Office, and notified as cleared by the Assistant Director of the DGSOM Visa and Licensing Office. Once preclearance has been issued by the DGSOM Visa and Licensing Office, outside counsel will be engaged to assist with filing the O-1 petitions with USCIS.

Procedures and Guidelines

The O-1 classification applies to an individual who has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. The O-1 classification also include individuals of extraordinary achievement in motion pictures or television. The standard of "extraordinary ability" for scientists, professionals in the area of education, businessmen and athletes is defined as "a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentages who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor."

O-1 status is employer-specific. There is no maximum limit for O-1 status. It may be approved for an initial period of three years and extended for as long as necessary to complete the assignment, one year at a time.

Current UCLA policy requires that an outside attorney be retained to assist with O-1 cases. The DGSOM Visa and Licensing Office will provide counseling in determining strategy for a case and selecting an attorney; review documents prepared by the attorney; ensure compliance with UCLA’s policy, procedure, and format; obtain university signatures; and provide status reports.

Dependents of O-1 holders are eligible for O-3 status. O-3 holders are not eligible to work in the U.S.

To determine O-1 eligibility for a prospective or current UCLA employee and/or request O-1 classification, please contact the DGSOM Assistant Director via email to initiate the process.

Forms and Letters

Departments must include a one-time fee of $400 using a Recharge Request Form (P39) when submitting O-1 request to the visa office, after determination of O-1 eligibility has been conferred by the Visa Office Assistant Director.