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O-1 visas for foreign medical doctors 


A physician who has extraordinary ability in the sciences to the degree that he or she has sustained national or international acclaim may apply for an O-1 visa. A physician seeking this status must be coming to the U.S. to continue work in his or her area of expertise.

The definition of "extraordinary" refers to the small percentage of individuals who have risen to the very top of their field of expertise. To determine whether an applicant has this degree of skill and accomplishment, the INS examiner will review a of supporting evidence which could include the following:
  1. Receipt of national or international prizes or awards;

  2. Membership in associations that require outstanding achievement as evaluated by recognized national or international experts;

  3. Published material about the applicant in professional or trade journals that relates to the personís work in the field of extraordinary ability;

  4. Participation as a judge of the work of others in the same field;

  5. Proof that the applicantís original scientific or scholarly contribution are of major significance in the relevant field;

  6. Authorship of scholarly articles in the field in profession or trade journals; and

  7. Evidence that the applicant has participated in a critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation.

A reading of the regulations yields the conclusion that an O-1 applicant should meet three of the above seven criteria. If the applicant is successful in getting approved for an O-1, he or she may stay for up to three years in this status.





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