Aerial view of the Montclair State University Campus.

O-1 Status

This page provides a general description of O-1 immigration status with links to additional information. Montclair State University processes O-1 petitions for full-time tenure-track faculty and full-time permanent staff, and provides advice on issues related to O-1 status, including travel and changes of status.

O-1 status is available to “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement” who possess “extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics,” or who have “a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry” and national or international recognition for those achievements.

The O-1 categories as defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services are:

  • O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
  • O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry
  • O-2: individuals who will accompany an O-1, artist or athlete, to assist in a specific event or performance.  For an O-1A, the O-2’s assistance must be an “integral part” of the O-1A’s activity. For an O-1B, the O-2’s assistance must be “essential” to the completion of the O-1B’s production. The O-2 worker has critical skills and experience with the O-1 that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker and which are essential to the successful performance of the O-1
  • O-3: individuals who are the spouse or children of O-1’s and O-2’s

According to USCIS, qualification for O-1 status requires that the beneficiary (employee/prospective employee) “demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim” and “be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.”

The basic USCIS eligibility criteria for each of the O-1 categories is as follows:

  • O-1A
    • Extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.
    • Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction.  Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of the arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.
  • O-1B
    • To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.

The O-1 visa category is useful to individuals of “extraordinary ability” who are subject to INA 212(e) (the Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement) due to previous time in J-1 or J-2 status and unable to meet or waive that requirement—and to employees who have reached their six-year limit in H-1B status. For more information about acquiring O-1 status, please review USCIS’s O-1 Visa page. If you think you might be eligible for O-1 status and would like more information, please contact Elizabeth Gill, Director of International Employment and Immigration in the Office of University Counsel.

Please note: Montclair State University requires that all applications for employment-based immigration status be approved and processed by the Office of University Counsel.

Processing Times

To allow for sufficient time for university and government processing, the O-1 process should be initiated approximately 8 months prior to the proposed employment/O-1 start date or end date of the employee’s current period of O-1 status. If a complete application package is not submitted in a timely manner, the University cannot guarantee that the application will be processed in time for the employee to start or continue work on schedule. Please note that processing times may vary depending on current caseload.

Please note: Montclair State University requires that all applications for employment-based immigration status be approved and processed by the Office of University Counsel.

Filing Fees

The hiring department or college/school is responsible for paying all O-1 filing fees with the exception of the fee for premium processing and for Form I-539 (when applicable). All fees must be paid by separate checks made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” Please review the O-1 Sample Invoice for guidance in submitting a check request. Once the checks are cut, please have them hand-delivered to the Director of International Employment and Immigration in the Office of University Counsel with the employee/prospective employee’s name written on the outside of the envelope; please do not put checks in interoffice mail. The O-1 and O-3 filing fees are:

  • $460 Form I-129, petition for O-1 worker – Paid by hiring department or college/school only
  • $1,410 for Form I-907, Premium Processing Fee (increasing to $1440 on December 2, 2019) – Paid by hiring department or applicant. For an additional $1,410 ($1440 after 12/2/2019), USCIS will adjudicate (approve, deny, or send a Request for Evidence) an O-1 petition within 15 calendar days of receipt of the mailed petition.
  • $370 for Form I-539 application for O-3 dependents (one application for all dependents) – Paid by applicant, if they have dependent(s)
  • $85.00 biometrics fee for each O-3 dependent – Paid by applicant, if they have dependent(s)

Required Documents from Hiring Department

  • Request check(s) from General Accounting, payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (see “Filing Fees” above).
  • Create an O-1 Sample Letter of Support, and have it signed by the appropriate Montclair State employee. Please contact the Director of International Employment and Immigration for a template letter and for review of the draft letter before signing.
  • Submit the Deemed Export Control Certification directly to Montclair State’s Associate University Counsel. Please contact the Director of International Employment and Immigration for assistance.

Please make single-sided printouts, and do not staple any paper documents together.

Required Documents from Applicant

The applicant/employee must submit all of the following forms and documents as one complete package to Elizabeth Gill, Director of International Employment and Immigration.

All forms should be completed digitally to facilitate the transfer of information to government forms. All copies should be single-sided, and please do not staple any paper documents together.

New Applicants in the U.S.

O-1 Applicant Information Form

Three copies of:

  • Official employment offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University
  • All previous Forms I-797
  • Diploma(s)* for degree(s) required for job and official English translations, if applicable
  • Transcript(s) for degree(s) required for job and official English translations, if applicable
  • I-94: stamp and electronic record and paper card, if applicable
  • Passport ID page (with picture)
  • Visa stamp (with picture)
  • Any I-20s if you have ever been in F-1 status
  • Any DS-2019s if you have ever been in J-1 status
  • Any EADs
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé

*If your the degree required for your job was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States, you must submit an official credential evaluation performed by an organization such as World Education Services (WES) stating the U.S. equivalent of your degree.

Completed by dependents:

  • Form I-539 and I-539a, if applicable
  • All previous Forms I-797
  • Check for $370.00 application fee payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Check for $85.00 biometrics fee for each dependent payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Proof of dependent relationship(s) to applicant (marriage certificate for spouses and birth certificate for children) along with official translations for any document that is not in English
  • Copies of dependents’:
    • I-94: stamp and electronic record or paper card, if applicable
    • Passport ID page(s) (with picture)
    • Visa stamp(s) (with picture)
    • I-20s or DS-2019s (all issued under most recent SEVIS ID)
    • Any EADs issued to dependents
New Applicants Outside the U.S.

O-1 Applicant Information Form

Three copies of:

  • Official employment offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University along with any subsequent reappointment letters
  • All previous Forms I-797
  • Diploma(s)* for degree(s) required for job and official English translations, if applicable
  • Transcript(s) for degree(s) required for job and official English translations, if applicable
  • Passport ID page (with picture)
  • Any I-20s if you have ever been in F-1 status
  • Any DS-2019s if you have ever been in J-1 status
  • Any EADs
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Last 4 pay stubs from current employer if extending or transferring H-1B status

*If your the degree required for your job was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States, you must submit an official credential evaluation performed by an organization such as World Education Services (WES) stating the U.S. equivalent of your degree.

NOTE: Please contact the U.S. embassy/consulate where you will be applying for the visa and find out what documentation is required at the time of application and how far in advance you must make a visa appointment. (Please note that Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement.)

O-1 Extensions and Amendments

Current O-1 Employees Applying for an Extension/Amendment

 

O-1 Applicant Information Form

Three copies of:

  • Official employment offer letter signed by the President of Montclair State University along with any subsequent reappointment letters
  • All previous Forms I-797
  • Diploma(s)* for degree(s) required for job and official English translations, if applicable
  • Transcript(s) for degree(s) required for job and official English translations, if applicable
  • I-94: stamp and electronic record and paper card, if applicable
  • Passport ID page (with picture)
  • Visa stamp (with picture)
  • Any I-20s if you have ever been in F-1 status
  • Any DS-2019s if you have ever been in J-1 status
  • Any currently valid EADs
  • Curriculum vitae or résumé
  • Last 4 pay stubs from current employer if extending or transferring H-1B status
  • Form W-2 from previous year

*If your the degree required for your job was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States, you must submit an official credential evaluation performed by an organization such as World Education Services (WES) stating the U.S. equivalent of your degree.

Completed by dependents:

  • Form I-539 and I-539a, if applicable
  • All previous Forms I-797
  • Check for $370.00 application fee payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Check for $85.00 biometrics fee for each dependent payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Proof of dependent relationship(s) to applicant (marriage certificate for spouses and birth certificate for children) along with official translations for any document that is not in English
  • Copies of dependents’:
    • I-94:  stamp and electronic record or paper card, if applicable
    • Passport ID page(s) (with picture)
    • Visa stamp(s) (with picture)
    • I-20s or DS-2019s (all issued under most recent SEVIS ID)
    • Any EADs issued to dependents
[/band]

O-1 Forms

What follows is a list of forms needed to complete the application process for current and prospective O-1 employees.

Form for the hiring department, college, or school to complete:

Form for the current or prospective employee to complete: