O-1 Visa

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability. To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim. The O-1 may sometimes be an option when, for example, the H-1B Specialty Working Visa would not be appropriate. Due to the strict requirements involved with the O-1 visa application process, consultation with OISS is required as early as possible. Please schedule an appointment with Adria Baker by calling 713-348-6095.

O-1 Quick Facts

What is an O‐1 visa?

  • Temporary work visa for individuals who possess extraordinary ability
  • The O-1 status does not have a maximum duration. Initial approval is typically issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS) for three years, after which extensions can be approved in one year increments
  • Visa belongs to the employer (Rice) and is specific to the position, job duties, work location, and work schedule (full-time or part-time)
  • No prevailing wage requirement, but commanding a high salary can be a qualification for the O-1 status

O-1 Cost/Fees

  • $460 - Filing Fee of I-129 to USCIS
  • $3,500 - $4,000 - Legal Fees for initial O-1 (depends on complexity of case)
  • $2,000 - Legal Fees for O-1 extension
  • $295 - Admin Fees
  • Additional fees may be required if USCIS requests further evidence, etc.
  • Premium processing: $2,750 (includes filing fee + legal fee) if filed concurrently with O-1 petition (additional admin fee of $40 will be included, if premium processing added later)
  • If applicable, O-3 dependent fees: visa for spouse (approximately $1,000) and/or child(ren) (approximately $600)
  • $340 - Revocation Fees (includes filing fee + legal fee) if employment ends prior to O-1 validity end date

*Please note that all of the O-1 fees, with the possible exception of premium processing, should be paid by the employer.

Foster will invoice the Sponsoring Department directly for all expenses. Any delay in paying these invoices in a timely manner can delay the O-1 visa processing.

Documents Required to Request for O-1 Visa

The O-1 request form is available in Adobe Sign under Workflows. It is titled "OISS - O-1 Initiation" and a copy of the job posting and an up-to-date CV must be attached to the form.

The sponsoring department must also initiate the “Export Controls Certification Compliance Form” via Adobe Sign. The form is available as a Workflow under the name "SPARC - Export Controls Certification Compliance. Any questions that arise in regards to filling out the form should be directed to the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance (exportcontrols@rice.edu).