O-1 Employee

Alien of Extraordinary Ability is a non-immigrant, employment-based status reserved for those who have reached a level of expertise indicating that they are one of the small percentages who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor.

Advisory Opinion from a Peer Group

Can the FN obtain an Advisory Opinion from a peer group?

A peer group is a person with expertise in the FN’s field or a group/organization composed of practitioners in the FN’s occupation/field of extraordinary ability.

An acceptable Advisory Opinion describes the alien’s ability/achievements in the field, duties to be performed & whether the position requires someone of extraordinary ability.

Can the FN document national or international acclaim in their field?

The FN must be able to provide substantial evidence demonstrating their extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business or athletics. The FN must be able to present evidence that they satisfy at least three (3) of the required eight (8) criteria in addition to being either nationally or internationally recognized in their field.

To show national or international acclaim as an O-1 Alien of Extraordinary Ability, the FN must present evidence of at least three (3) of the eight (8) criteria listed below:

  1. Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards;
  2. Memberships requiring outstanding achievements;
  3. Published material about the alien, relating to the alien’s work. Includes title, date, author, and any translations;
  4. Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same/allied field, i.e.: referee, reviewer, etc.;
  5. Original scientific, scholarly, . . . contributions of major significance in the field (6-10 expert letters);
  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media;
  7. Employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation; and/or
  8. Commanded or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services, evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

O-1 Forms

Fee Structure and Services Provided for Employment-based Non-Immigrant and Immigrant Petitions

*Please be aware that federal and subfederal grants and contracts are not allowed to pay for internal processing fees assessed by the University of Arizona’s International Faculty & Scholars Office for immigration services.

Subject to the federal allowability rules, external processing fees paid to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for sponsoring non-immigrant status such as H-1B or J-1 may be allowable on grants and contracts. Fees for sponsoring immigrant status (permanent residency) may never be paid by grants and contracts.

Service fees assessed by International Faculty & Scholars Office or external attorneys may be paid from a non-federal source of fund (i.e. departmental, state, or local accounts.)


Expense (department account) = 4290 (Miscellaneous Services - Other Internal: Charges for all other services, which are not specifically addressed in the preceding list of object codes).

Income (IFS accounting) = 0936 and 0940 (Miscellaneous Income: Income received from sources other than those described above). Use 0936 (Miscellaneous Income – Internal) when revenues are being received for sales to other university departments on and Interdepartmental Billing (IB) document. Use 0940 (Miscellaneous Income – Other) when income is received from an external source.

Services Provided at No Cost by IFS

Initial consultation and/or referral to a UArizona approved attorney.

Services Included in Fees

  • Processing of petition (I-129).
  • Federal Express to USCIS.
  • One (1) copy of the petition.
  • List of current IFS fees.

Associated Expenses Not Included in IFS Fees

  • Visa fees.
  • Translations, copies, educational and/or credential evaluations associated with the initial petition and/or Request for Evidence (RFE).
  • Review of employment-based PR applications filed by a UArizona approved outside attorney.
  • All USCIS fees, including, but not limited to:
  • $460 I-129 application fee.
  • $2,500 Premium processing fee (optional).
  • List of current USCIS fees.

O-1 status is governed by 8 CFR 214.2(o)(3)(i).