We have noticed that USCIS is being particularly difficult with students transitioning from OPT to O-1. One thing we have found helpful, in this regard, is for students to show evidence of their extraordinary ability before they became a student. Therefore, you may have to go through newspaper archives or ask your parents to recover evidence from the attic/basement.
- Do you have theatre programs with credits for your role?
- Press concerning your prior achievements?
- Certificates documenting your awards?
- Credits in art catalogs?
- Press releases?
- Advertisements that document your achievements or leading role?
- Theater/book/movie posters that credit your leading role?
- Credits in books, magazines or newspapers?
Under certain circumstances, photographs can also provide helpful evidence, especially if you have a behind-the-scenes role as a lighting designer, book editor, film producer or marketing liaison.
Word of warning: We are finding that USCIS does not like the word “student” or “assistant” in credits when applying for an O-1, as this implies your role was not leading or critical. Try to get credits that convey you were a professional in a leading role.
Again, it is a good idea to make an appointment with Jane Orgel to brainstorm on possible ways to document your achievements prior to being accepted into a US school.