O-1 Visa

O visas are for foreign nationals who have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics.  There is no statutory limitation of the period of stay for O status.

Approval of the O-1B visa status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must be obtained before the employee can be placed on Montclair State University Payroll, unless the employee possesses another status that allows employment while the O-1 petition is pending.


Foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business and athletics must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field by providing evidence of:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award, or
  • At least 3 of the following:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized awards for excellence
    • Memberships in associations that require excellence
    • Published material about the foreign national’s work
    • Serving as a judge of the work of others
    • Contributions of major significance in the field
    • Employment in a critical capacity for organization and establishments that have a distinguished reputation
    • High salary or other remuneration commanded
    • Other comparable evidence

Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts must show “distinction” in the field.  “Distinction” means a high level of achievement in the field of arts.  This is demonstrated by providing evidence of:

  • Nomination for a significant national or international award, or
  • At least 3 of the following:
    • Performance of a lead role in productions/events with distinguished reputations
    • Critical reviews or other published material about the work
    • A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success
    • Receipt of significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts
    • Commands a high salary or other remuneration
    • Other comparable evidence


The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) charges the following processing fees for O-1 applications:

  • $325 for I-129 fee paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (paid by the hiring department)
  • Premium Processing fee, if applicable: $1,225 paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”  (paid by the hiring department)


1. The applicant & hiring department submit the items listed below, including the check(s).  It takes approximately 3 weeks for IS to prepare the application.

2. After the application is received by USCIS, it takes approximately 6 months USCIS to render a decision.  In the event a faster processing time is needed, “Premium Processing” may be used.  The Premium Process will make a decision on the application within 15 calendar days by filling out Form I-907 and an additional payment of $1,225.

The hiring department and applicant will be notified when IS receives the approval notice. Copies of the completed petition will be kept on file in IS and a copy of the petition will be given to the Faculty/Staff candidate for their own record-keeping purposes. 

Items Required from Faculty/Staff Member

  • Applicant Information Sheet
  • E‌vidence of the aforementioned qualifications for O status
  • Six to ten peer review letters from recognized experts in the field – Sample Peer Review Letter O Visa
  • Current CV (please also provide an electronic version)
  • Diplomas (provide credential evaluation if highest degree is foreign. Credentials must be in English accompanied by a notarized English translation.)
  • Transcripts for entire period of study in the US, if applicable‌
  • Job offer letter
  • Photocopy of all passports held while in the US- introduction pages and all pages with any/all stamped pages for each applicant
  • Photocopy of visa stamps for each applicant
  • Photocopy of both sides of Form I-94 for each applicant
  • Photocopy of all evidence of having always maintained valid status while in the U.S., such as I-797s, I-20s, DS-2019s, EAD cards, or etc for each applicant
  • Waiver of 2 year home residency rule Form I-612, if applicable
  • 3 most recent paystubs
  • Form I-539 for dependent(s), if applicable
  • $290.00 fee for each Form I-539 paid to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (PAID by the APPLICANT)
  • Photocopy of marriage and divorce certificates for each applicant, if applicable
  • Proof of dependent relationship to applicant (birth/marriage certificates), if applicable

Submit THREE COPIES of all documents to:

Aditi Patel, Interim Director of International Services

Montclair State University

1 Normal Avenue

Student Center Annex, Room 207

Montclair, NJ 07043

phone: 973-655-6862, fax: 973-655-7726, email: patelad@mail.montclair.edu

Items Required from Hiring Department

Click here for a comprehensive list.