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Key Points

  • USCIS has released new guidance on determining whether O-1B applicants qualify for O-1B Arts or O-1B MPTV designation
  • The updated guidance provides clarity in cases where individuals fall into both categories
  • Categories affected include composers, actors, directors, and set designers
  • The new guidance is effective immediately


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued new guidance on determining whether O-1 applicants qualify as having extraordinary ability in the arts (O-1B Arts) or motion picture or television industry (O-1B MPTV) when their case includes elements of both.

What are the Changes?

O-1 status applies to qualifying individuals with “extraordinary ability” in the arts, sciences, business, athletics, and education. The designation is also available for people with a record of “extraordinary achievement” in the motion picture or television industries.

In instances where a case has elements of both categories, the updated USCIS guidance helps officers determine which O-1B classification to use. The new guidance applies to numerous categories, including actors, composers, directors, and set designers. The direction will also help classify new forms of media such as streaming internet productions.

Looking Ahead

The USCIS guidance is effective immediately. Please check with your legal team for additional advice regarding the O-1 visa and the appropriate adjudication category.

Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services

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