O-1 Questions: What Is Needed to Prove Contributions of Major Significance to Your Field?

If you want to qualify for an O-1 visa, you need to show that you are one of the best in your particular field. One of the ways to do this is to show that you have made major contributions to that field. These contributions must be original, and they can be scientific, scholarly, or business-related.

How exactly do you prove these contributions? Typically, the best way to do this is to solicit testimonials and letters from others in the field.

Who Should Be Writing These Letters and Testimonials?

These individuals should be considered experts in their own right, and they should not be people within the applicant’s direct circle of colleagues — in other words, you essentially want well-qualified strangers in your field writing about the amazing things you’ve done.

What Exactly Should the Letters and Testimonials Say?

Letters and testimonials supporting your “major contributions to the field” should focus on:

  • Your influence in the field
  • Practical applications of unique work you’ve done and innovations you’ve come up with
  • How your work is both distinguishable and at the top of the field.

Ideally, they will be able to point to work that is considered ground-breaking, revolutionary, state-of-the-art, or vital. Additionally, it should be work that impacts your entire field — not just something that benefits your specific employer or clients.