O-1A Worker of Extraordinary Ability
The O-1A worker status is based on extraordinary ability and allows an employer to petition on behalf of non-immigrants who have a high level of expertise and have attained national or international acclaim in their field. Extensive documentation is required as evidence of eligibility to apply. The O-1A status may be valid initially for three years and can be extended on a one-year incremental basis indefinitely.
J-1 visa holders who possess the necessary qualifications for the O-1A, but are subject to the "two year home country residence requirement," may still qualify for this classification. They must, however, leave the U.S. and apply for admission as an O-1A non-immigrant.
The University of Kentucky International Center does not process O-1A applications, so it is advisable to retain the services of an attorney to prepare this application. A G-28 Form, which allows representation by an outside attorney, must be signed by the director of the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. A copy of the approved O-1A petition must be sent to the director, Elizabeth Leibach, 215 Bradley Hall, before submission to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services