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O-1 (Individuals of Extraordinary Ability)


You must meet certain obligations in order to maintain your lawful status, including:

  • Work only in the authorized place of employment and for the period approved on your I-797.  If your job ends sooner than the I-797 end date, your status ends on the same day.
  • Maintain a valid passport, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, and I-797 at all times.
  • Have the department notify OIS prior to any proposed changes in duties, responsibilities, salary, or work sites/locations.  An amended petition may be necessary.
  • Report any change in residential address, within 10 days of moving, to the USCIS (Form AR-11), to OIS by email, and in UIC’s NESSIE system.
  • Notify OIS if you change or adjust your status (especially if you file an I-485 for permanent residency).


  • Renewals: Have the department apply for renewal of your O-1 status (if eligible) 4-6 months prior to the expiration of your current O-1 immigration status.  Keep in mind that O-1 status can be extended in increments of not more than one year at a time.
  • Dependents, O-3s: O-3 dependents are not eligible to work, or volunteer to work.  They may attend school.  The same travel requirements apply to individuals in O-1, as O-2 and O-3 status.  If an I-539 was not filed for the O-3 dependents, they must use the O-1’s original I-797 while traveling.
  • Assistants, O-2s: It may be possible to have an official O-2 assist for your work as an O-1.  Please consult OIS if you would like to discuss this option.
  • Taxes: People in O status are required to file both state and federal taxes.
  • Immigrant/“dual” intent: O-1 status allows for “dual intent,” meaning that the filing of a Labor Certification Application and/or an immigrant petition will not be the basis for denying an O-1 petition, a request for an extension of stay, a change of status, or admission to the U.S.  However, applicants for Adjustment of Status who travel outside of the U.S. must have Advanced Parole and an EAD card to avoid abandoning the immigrant petition and to continue to be eligible to work upon returning to the U.S.
  • Grace period: Upon completion of employment, O-1 workers do not have an official “grace period”  Please allow sufficient time prior to the end date of your employment to make these arrangements.
  • Departure: You are required to submit a Departure Verification Form upon leaving UIC.  This form is required regardless of your departure reason:  departing the U.S., changing employers, or changing immigration status.
  • Unlawful Presence: This occurs when you stay beyond the ending date of your I-94 or upon determination by Department of Homeland Security.  Consequences include a 3-year bar from reentering the U.S. if you have stayed unlawfully in the US for 180 days or more, and a 10-year bar if you remain unlawfully in the U.S. for 360 days or more.  Violation of your O-1 status makes you ineligible for any immigration benefits.  This does not apply if a timely, non-frivolous petition to extend your stay has been received by the USCIS prior to the end date of your I-94.