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O-1A Published Material About You Editorial:

Are there press materials discussing you and your work? In this presentation, we’re going to focus on the O-1A visa category – ‘Do you have any published material about you in the press?’ The actual official wording of this category is:

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.

Many of our O-1A candidates are individuals who are working at the top of their field are often doing work that can be considered newsworthy. Thus, industry publications will write articles about these individuals that work they are doing. Quite frankly, if your work is being written about in the press, then it must have a certain level of importance in the field of endeavor. Of course, the more prestigious the publication, the more convincing the evidence will be.

Applications that provide evidence to satisfy the O-1A Visa category of Published Materials About You are well received by US Immigration. It can be very difficult to argue against evidence as objective as press materials. We often encourage our clients who may not have press materials to develop this category, even if hiring a publicist is needed, as US Immigration places a great deal of store by the amount of press or publicity an alien is able to garner.

Many professional O-1A candidates do not specifically court the press, which means that while their work could be ground-breaking, we do not have objective evidence of the achievements. That being said, even if you don’t satisfy it today, what’s to stop you beginning to court some press coverage about your work in whatever media that best fits your field of expertise?

Publications that cannot be considered are publications that only serve a small geographic area, unless we can gather a collection of local articles that may occur, e.g., when a band or production is on tour. In the academic world, researchers and scholars often get their work published, but this is not what we’re considering in this category.

O-1A Published Material About You Commentary:

What this category is about is publications about you and your work and what breakthroughs or advances you’ve made. For example, a headline might read something like – “Mike Smith discovers new protocols for testing for HIV which is showing promising results”. The article might then consist of a description about Mike Smith, how he came to develop this new protocol, and how the new protocol has performed in clinical trials. These articles are as much about the individual as they are about the work. The fact that such an article has been written about the alien is an indication that the alien is operating at a high level in his field.

Many professionals in finance and advertising have publications that really address their particular audience. Ok – let’s talk about Print Media vs. Online Media: In this age of ‘New Media’, (as it has become known), O-1A visa examiners are having greater difficulty weighing up how much gravitas should be given to online media. Print media is definitely thought more highly of because of the lengths and significant expense (compared to digital media) the publisher has to go through to produce the magazine or newspaper.

Print media can produce statistical information, such as circulation numbers and demographic information that perhaps new media cannot. Also, since people have to buy print media, then the implication is that the publication has to be more discerning and discriminatory to ensure that only the best content is printed. Where these publications also have a digital online counterpart, then US O-1A adjudicators are more than happy to accept the online version.

In contrast, there are millions of websites today vying for attention. Some websites have very little credibility because they are so new, and it is hard to verify the “following” a particular website might have; mere numerical “hits” are not an indicator of quality per se. Many online media sites allow individuals to upload their own information and these websites lack any kind of independent scrutiny to enable an O-1A adjudicator to objectively determine the credibility of the article. So, let’s not talk about how many followers you might have on Facebook.

Bearing in mind that an O-1A is at stake here, you can’t blame US Immigration for being a tad skeptical. This having been said, there are many online-only publications that have established themselves as well respected sites. If you’ve been published in print or in online media, then gather up some examples and let us review them. If you’ve not been published and you’re struggling to find three O-1A categories that you can satisfy, then start looking into ways where you can get yourself in the media.

Why not talk to a Publicist? Maybe you can have a launch party or something, anything to get some buzz going about what you do. Getting yourself published in this way is not hard to do as many publications are yearning to have something new, fresh and exciting to write about.

In the next presentation, we’re going to review the ‘Participation as a panelist or as a judge’ category. Once again, we’re so delighted that you found us and hope you enjoy our O-1A visa presentation series. When you’re ready, please email or call us for a free consultation and we can discuss your case and get the ball rolling.


Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
[Cross Streets 4th and Wilshire]
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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