O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

General Information

  • The O-1 category is reserved for individuals who have risen to the very top of their field and have enjoyed sustained national or international acclaim.
  • Extensive documentation of their achievements and a peer consultation must be presented with the petition.
  • The person should be entering the US to participate in a specific, definable activity or event.
  • This category is only appropriate for a very limited number of truly outstanding individuals. Former J-1 Exchange Visitors who are subject to the two year home residence requirement are eligible for O-1 status even though they have neither complied with the requirement nor obtained a waiver.

Type(s) of Payment Allowed

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Employment

May be employed “incidental to status” only by the petitioning employer or agency through whom the status was obtained.  Contact your divisional payroll office for further information.

Honorarium

May be paid an honorarium by the UW only if the UW is on the official/approved USCIS itinerary as a visiting site.  Copy of the official/approved USCIS itinerary must be provided and attached to the payment request form.

Out of Pocket Expenses (Travel)

Travel reimbursement allowed to be paid

Visa Application Process

  • Several weeks to gather documentation; 1-2 months at INS, longer if documentation is deemed insufficient

Length of Stay Allowed

  • no set limit, but only for the duration of the specific activity or event

Special Conditions/Requirements

  • the individual must be truly outstanding and have sustained national or international acclaim
  • requires extensive documentation of the person’s outstanding qualifications
  • the hiring department must provide a written advisory opinion from a “peer group” in the field
  • the hiring department must pay the cost of return transportation to the O-1’s home country should the person be dismissed for any reason prior to the end date of the O-1

Required Documents Summary

  • evidence of the individual’s sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field
  • peer advisory opinion
  • form I-129
  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments

Forms Required for Payroll Payments (Employees paid through the Human Resource System (HRS)

Salary

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-9 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Forms Needed for Non-Payroll Payments (Non-employees paid through Accounting Services)

All forms listed must be provided for each type of payment.

In order to make non-salary payments to individuals (i.e., an honorarium, travel reimbursement etc.), Accounting Services must have a copy of all immigration documents (I-94 and DS-2019, I-797 or I-20 whichever is applicable).

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Policy

Travel Reimbursement

  • For campuses using E-Reimbursement(UW-Madison):
  •  For campuses not using E-Reimbursement:

Honorarium

  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments.
  • Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or copy of completed/signed/filed ITIN application required.

Participant Support

  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments.
  • Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or copy of completed/signed/filed ITIN application required.

Tax Liability/Withholding

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Social Security

  • FICA withholding required
  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-9 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Federal

Salary

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-9 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).
  • Documented travel expenses are considered business expenses of the UW and thus no federal tax is withheld
  • Honorariums (Payment for Services) require withholding of 30% federal tax, unless tax treaty exemption applies and Form 8233 is filed.  To determine if tax treaty applies refer to IRS Publication 901, Table 2 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf) or the Tax Compliance and Report guide under Nonresident Aliens (NRA), Visas, Visa Restrictions and Resources .
  • Participant support, 14% withholding, unless tax treaty exemption applies and Form W-8BEN is filed.  To determine if tax treaty applies refer to IRS Publication 901, Table 2 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf) orthe Tax Compliance and Report guide under Nonresident Aliens (NRA), Visas, Visa Restrictions and Resources .

State

Salary

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-9 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Honorarium (Payment for Services)

  • None

Travel Reimbursement

  • None