O-1 VISA Checklist

O 1 Visa Document Checklist 

Download MPLG’s O-1 Document Checklist. This contains a list of commonly requested documentation and information for O-1 petitions. You may not have every document itemized in this checklist, as it is intended as a guide of possible documents.

This Checklist contains information regarding:

  • Documents for O-1A in the fields of Science, Education, Business, or Athletics
  • Documents for O-1B in the Arts

 

Forms

  • Form I-129 – Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Form I-907 – Request for Premium Processing (optional)

Documents for All O-1 Petitions


Written Contract with Petitioner 

Copies of any written contracts between the Petitioner and the Beneficiary, or if there is no written contract, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the Beneficiary will be employed

Events or Activities or Itinerary  

An explanation of the nature of the events or activities, the beginning and ending dates for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities, and a copy of any itinerary for the events or activities; and


Advisory opinion or recommendation letter(s) 

The petition must include an advisory opinion from a peer group, labor union, or person with expertise in the applicant’s field. This opinion can either state simply that the group has no objection to issuing the visa, or can detail the applicant’s achievements. If the achievements are detailed, the letter should also address the applicant’s ability, the nature of the position offered, and whether the position requires a person of extraordinary ability.

 

Beneficiary’s Personal Documents 

  • Passport (all biodata pages, all stamped pages)
  • Resume of CV
  • Education Documents (diplomas and transcripts)
  • All previous USCIS Approval Notices (H-1B, L-1, H-4 etc)
  • All I-20 and EADs for F-1
  • Entry I-94 (retrieve electronic copy from CBP website)
  • Recent pay stubs (if changing, transferring or extending status)

Petitioner Documents – Separate Checklist for Corporate Sponsor 

Document Checklist for O-1A in the fields of Science, Education, Business, or Athletics

Extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.

Must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • National or International Award 

    Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize; or

     

  • Documentation in 3 Other Categories 

If no National or International Award, then evidence of at least 3 of the following: 

  1. Documentation of the alien’s receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;
  2. Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sough, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;
  3. Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media about the alien, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought, which shall include the title, date, and author of such published material, and any necessary translation;
  4. Evidence of the alien’s participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in an allied field of specialization to that for which classification is sought;
  5. Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;
  6. Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media;
  7. Evidence that the alien has been employed in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation;
  8. Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other remuneration for services,
    evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.

    Comparable Evidence

    If the criteria in paragraph (o)(3)(iii) of this section do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility.


Start-Up Founders & Key Personnel Seeking the O-1A – Special Considerations 

Types of evidence for O-1 used for start-up founders include 

  • Evidence of significant funding;
  • Contracts with substantial customers as evidence work is being implemented or adopted by others;
  • Customer reference letters;
  • Industry expert reference letters;
  • Press articles;
  • Part of a significant incubator program;
  • Significant salary + shares (depending upon the valuation of the company)

Scientists Seeking the O-1A – Special Considerations 

Types of evidence for O-1 used for scientists include 

  • Reference letters from industry experts
  • Original contributions
  • Grants received
  • Scholarly articles, publications and citations
  • Judging the work of others 
  • Papers or posters at scientific events


Documents for O-1B in the Arts

Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts. 

Must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise.  

  • National or International Award 

Nominated for, or the Recipient of significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award;
OR

  • Documentation in 3 Other Categories 

If no National or International Award, then evidence of at least 3 of the following: 

  1. Evidence that the alien has performed, and will perform, services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications contracts, or endorsements;
  2. Evidence that the alien has achieved national or international recognition for achievements evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the individual in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications;
  3. Evidence that the alien has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
  4. Evidence that the alien has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion picture or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;
  5. Evidence that the alien has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the alien is engaged. Such testimonials must be in a form which clearly indicates the author’s authority, expertise, and knowledge of the alien’s achievements;
  6. Evidence that the alien has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence; or

 

  • Comparable Evidence

    If the criteria in paragraph (o)(3)(iv) of this section do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility. 

O-1A Visa Prongs 

Download MPLG’s List of The Prongs for O-1A. Extraordinary ability in the field of science, education, business, or athletics means a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor. 

Check out our easy to read list of “The Prongs” that must be proven for the O-1A. To qualify for the O-1A the foreign national must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally recognized award such as the Nobel Prize; or
  • At least 3 of the achievements set forth in our list of prongs that you can download to the right.
  • The O-1A prongs include evidence of:
    • Awards
    • Membership in Associations
    • Media or Press
    • Original Contributions in the field
    • Scholarly Articles
    • Serving in a Critical Capacity with a Distinguished Organization
    • High Salary

O-1B Visa Prongs 

Download MPLG’s List of the Prongs for O-1B. Extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Distinction means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that a person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.

Check out our easy to read list of “The Prongs” that must be proven for the O-1B. To qualify for the O-1B the foreign national must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise by providing evidence of:

  • Nomination for, or the Recipient of significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy, or a Director’s Guild Award; or
  • At least 3 of the achievements set forth in our list of prongs that you can download to the right.