The O-1A Visa is specifically designed for individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements in the sciences, education, business, or athletics, not including arts, motion pictures, or television industry. The U.S. government issues this visa to recognize individuals who have risen to the very top of their field. To qualify for an O-1A Visa, evidence of a significant national or international award, or a series of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards must be presented. Alternatively, you can demonstrate a high level of achievement through memberships in associations in your field which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts.
The O-1A Visa allows the holder to legally work in the U.S. in their field of extraordinary ability. The initial period of stay can be up to three years, with possible extensions granted in one-year increments. One of the notable benefits of the O-1A Visa is that there's no annual cap on the number of these visas issued each year. So if you qualify, there is no need to worry about availability.
The application process for the O-1A Visa involves submission of a petition by a U.S. employer, an agent, or a foreign employer. The petition must be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and requires extensive documentation to demonstrate the extraordinary abilities of the applicant.