0-1 Visa for persons with extraordinary abilities

The 0-1 visa is a type of Visa meant for individuals with extraordinary abilities. This extraordinary ability should be found in sciences, arts,  athletics, sports, business or education sector.

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These individuals must have demonstrated these extraordinary abilities and must have a record of them either in pictures or videos while being recognised nationally or internationally for these abilities. 

To qualify for this visa as an individual,  you must have demonstrated extraordinary abilities over time, and be recognised nationally or internationally, with evidence by motion pictures or television. Then must be willing to visit the US to work temporarily in the area where you have extraordinary ability. 

Extraordinary abilities in the field of arts differ from that of science, business, education or athletics. Extraordinary abilities in the field of arts mean distinction, which means a high level of achievement in the field of arts. 

This is shown with evidence in skill and abilities so rare, as such must have gained recognition and prowess in the field of arts. However, extraordinary abilities in the field of business, science, athletics and education mean such person is an expert in that field and have risen above so many others who are in the same field, to the extent they look up to you for professional advice and theories concerning the same field.

However, it is imperative to note that the 0-1 visa is in two categories, which are 0-1A and 0-1B. The 0-1A is for people with extraordinary abilities in the field of science, business, athletics and education, excluding the persons in arts, motion pictures or television. 

On the other hand, a 0-1B visa is for those with extraordinary abilities in the field of arts, motion pictures and television. A University usually files 0-1 visas for scholars in fields of interest.

How to apply for a 0-1 Visa

As earlier stated above, a US employer, agent or even a foreign employer in the US will file the form 1-129 petition for non-immigrant for you, alongside all proof or evidence,  depending on what has been filled in the form.

This petition cannot be filed more than a year before your service is actually needed. To avoid any delay or confusion, it is advisable for the US employer to file this petition 45 days before the date of employment.

Therefore, the steps you and your employer will take when applying for a 0-1 visa includes;

1.  File a petition                                             

The US employer will file the petition on behalf of the extraordinary person or you depending on who.

2. Petition to USCIS:                         

The petition will be filed with the USCIS on your behalf. At this stage, the US agent or employer will file Form 1-129 and completely fill the form with the necessary requirements. 

3. Pay the application fee

Then they proceed to pay the application fee which is usually $460 dollars. They’d fill necessary documents and submit them to the USCIS after which the USCIS will review the petition and give feedback on their decision which is either positive or negative.

If their decision is positive, then the application process can proceed.

4. Pay the visa fees

The next step is to pay the visa fees. This fee can be paid online or through a bank, but it is important to have a receipt which will also be attached to the document and presented on the day of the visa appointment.  

5. Schedule an appointment

This is where you’d be a need to schedule an appointment for an interview with the US embassy. You can schedule these appointments online.      

6.  Gather necessary documents  

You’d be asked to come with certain documents, at this stage you are expected to gather and arrange the required documents. The following documents are needed when applying for this 0-1 visa. They include;

  • A written note or consultation from a colleague who operates in your field.  The person must also be an expert in your field.
  • A copy or document of the contract of employment that includes all agreements and conditions under which you’ll be employed.
  • As an employee, there are certain conditions under which you are being employed, this includes activities and events in which you are to participate in. Therefore, there’d be a document outlining all activities and events in which you would participate. They include dates, venues, and other details pertaining to the activities.
  • Knowing that you have extraordinary abilities is not enough, there’d be a need for proof. This evidence or proof will truly show your abilities. Proof shows your achievements, and they may be an award, published articles or projects about your field of expertise, top research and contributions in your field of expertise, or being a member of a renowned or highly distinguished association that concerns your field, etc.


When going to the US Embassy for your passport, it is advisable to go with these documents:

  • Passport photograph which must be valid as at the time of use and six months after you want to leave the US.
  • Confirmation page of the DS-160 form.
  • The appointment letter talking about the interview. 
  • Full picture of yourself,  but this picture has to be according to the standards set by the US Department of State. 
  • An approval notice from USCIS will be sent to you. It is known as the 1-797  approval notice.
  • Proof and reciept of payment showing that the Machine Readable Fee (MRC) has been paid.

7.  Attend the interview

At this point, your scheduled interview should be set. Attend the interview and also go along with the required documents. On the set date for the interview, give your documents to the necessary authorities then go on with the interview with your visa officer.

You’ll be asked about your qualifications, how positively have you affected your organisation with your expertise, how long have you been working in your field, why you want to go to the US to further your career, etc.

You have to be reasonable in your reply as this is one of the most important aspects of the visa application. After this session is over, you’ll wait for a decision to be met. You’ll get aw feedback from the US Consulate.

How Long is the 0-1 visa valid?

The 0-1 visa is valid for three years, after which if there’s a need for an extension, you can apply for it. Your employer or agent will have to submit a new application and also a Form 1-129 petition for non-immigrant workers.

  • A copy of form 1-94, which shows departure and arrival to the US.
  • A statement that explains the reason for an extension. Your employer will explain the conditions of which you came into the US and why you are wanted to continue working in the same activity, manner or field.

However, in the event where you want to change to a different employer, the new employer will have to file a new petition.

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