The O-1 visa status is a temporary, nonimmigrant, employer-specific category for persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. All O -1 petitions for Georgia Tech employment must be processed by Global HR, and the employing department must initiate all O-1 requests.

Need Assistance?


Georgia Tech sponsorship for O​-1 status is available for the following employment categories:

  • Regular Research Faculty
  • Regular, Non-Tenure Track Teaching Faculty
  • Tenured or Tenure Track Teaching Faculty

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

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.


All O-1A petitions for Georgia Tech employment must be processed by Global HR, and the employing department must initiate all requests for an O-1 nonimmigrant petition using iStart.

Due to the excessive time required for the review and preparation of an O-1 petition, sponsorship is limited to cases in which no other normally utilized nonimmigrant or immigrant visa would meet the department's needs.

Departments who are considering O-1 status for a current or potential GT employee should discuss the case with Global HR staff at least four to six months in advance of the anticipated start date.

Processing Time
Form  Fee
Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker  $460
Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing (optional, guarantees adjudication or request for additional evidence in 15 days) $1,440 

Maintaining Status/Employer Compliance

Changes in Employment

All changes in employment for an O-1 employee must be reported to Global HR before the change occurs. The employing department should complete the Notification of Changes in Employment e-form in iStart. If further action is necessary (i.e. an O-1 amendment), the department will be notified.

Extension of Status

O-1 employees and employing departments receive monthly notifications beginning six months prior to the expiration date of the O-1 employee. Extensions must be timely filed to avoid any gaps in employment authorization.

Other Information


Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) are permitted to have O-3 status for the duration of the primary status holder. Individuals in O-3 status are not permitted to engage in employment. Individuals may engage in full- or part-time study.

Length of Stay

The initial O-1 work authorization can be valid for up to three (3) years and subsequently extended in increments of one year only. There is no limit to the number of one-year extensions, however the O-1 status is not meant to be indefinite.