O–1 is for individuals of "extraordinary ability" and requires proof of major scholarly, athletic, or artistic achievement. The University of Minnesota may hire faculty or researchers with very strong academic records and credentials who may not be eligible for H-1B or J-1 for various reasons. Persons who are ineligible for H-1B or other employment based visas because they are subject to the J-1 two-year home residence rule can be granted the O–1 visa/status.
The O–1 process requires the employer to file a petition with USCIS. ISSS does not process O-1 petitions. University departments who decide to pursue an O-1 petition must work with the University Office of General Counsel (OGC) and a private immigration attorney. Please see the OGC policy and procedure.
The dependent spouse and children (under age 21) of an O-1 principal, if otherwise eligible, may be granted O-3 status. O-3 dependents may attend school, but employment is not permitted.
See the Visa Options for Employment Eligibility chart for a comparison to other visa types.