If you have looked into the O-1 visa and determined that you qualify, the next step is figuring out what you must do to apply.
Since this visa is employer-specific, that means that either they or their designated agent has to complete Form I-129 with an O supplement and file it with USCIS. But that is just the beginning. The real “meat” of the application is the O-1 visa evidence that you must provide to USCIS to show them that you qualify as being one of the top people in your particular field.
What Kinds of Evidence Is Valuable to Send with Your O-1 Petition?
There are a wide variety of documents that may be valuable to include with your petition. Just a few of these include:
Multiple Reference Letters. These should articulate your status as one of the best at your profession and come from people considered experts in your field. Most of the people who write these letter should not know you personally, but rather be third party experts who are familiar with the work you have done. Eight to 10 is a good amount.
Press Clippings. These can cover both you personally and the professional accomplishments you’ve achieved.
Proof of Recognition for Your Work. For example, prizes and awards you have won.
Where You Rank in Your Field.
Performance Venue Information. If you are a performer, you will want to include the names of events and venues at which you have performed (or are scheduled to in the future), as well as the reputation of these places, how many people attended, and any box office numbers.
Information on Compensation. Evidence showing that you receive high compensation for your work and/or high amounts of prize money.
Proof of Any Endorsements, Grants, or Patents Gained Through Your Work.
Social / Internet Presence. Does your website get a lot of traffic? Do you have lots of social media followers? Include any stats you have on things like press impressions, followers, likes, and daily views.
Evidence of Judging. If you have been asked to judge the work of others due to your expertise, include documentation proving it.
Evidence of Prominent Events in Your Field to Which You’ve Been Invited or Participated In.
Proof That You Have Held Critical or Leading Roles. Show that you have worked for distinguished organizations and been instrumental in their success.
As you might imagine, compiling all of this O-1 visa evidence can prove to be quite a time-consuming and complicated task. Make sure you plan ahead, and work with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process.