The O category is set aside for aliens of extraordinary” ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, certain aliens accompanying or assisting those aliens, and their family members. No numerical cap is placed on the annual admission of these aliens, but the definitions covering this category should serve effectively to limit the number of annual admissions.

The law establishes three different standards for the O-1 category: (1) the most exacting standard applies to aliens in the sciences, education, business, and athletics; (2) a much less rigorous standard applies to individual aliens in the arts; and (3) an intermediate standard applies to aliens of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or TV industries.