Persons who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or who has demonstrated a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry can apply for a visa under the O visa category.
An application for an O visa must be made directly to a U.S. Service Centre prior to the applicant making an entry. A petitioner (an employer or U.S. agent, traditionally) makes the application outlining the foreign nationals extraordinary ability and the purpose for the work engagement. The petitioner can expedite the processing of the O application with the Service Center by paying a “premium processing” fee of $1000. Upon receipt of the approved petition, a Canadian can apply for entry directly at the port of entry. All other nationals will be required to apply for a visa at a U.S. visa post prior to entry.
The visa can be issued for a period of up to three years initially, and then it can be renewed for one year with reason.