O-1 Eligibility Criteria

USCIS requires that your scholarly achievements meet at least three of the eight categories listed below. The requirement is not only to document these achievements but also be able to demonstrate your achievements are extraordinary with national and international recognition.   

O-1: Three Out-Of Eight Eligibility Categories


Evidence of authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field

Note: It is important to have a few first authorship in journals with very high impact factor. USCIS expects publications to be part of normal academic work. One has to prove that it is 'extraordinary with international reputation'.

material written by others

Evidence of published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field.

Note: This includes not only sole reviews of your work but also in the form of 'highlights/editorial/commentary' in premier journals. Citations in book chapters can be used. Demonstrating an abundance of citation in journals or fewer ones in very high impact factored journals can also satisfy this criteria. (Science, Cell, Nature)

Judge of others

Evidence of participation either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field.

Note: Includes peer review for academic journals/grant proposals/conference proceedings book/conference selection committee.

Original Scholarly Research Contributions

Evidence of original scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of major significance in the field.

Note: This includes achievements that do not fit into any other category. Approved Patents, submissions of protein structures in national databases, letters of recommendation, invited talks at conferences, conference posters/abstracts can be used to prove 'Original Scholarly Research'.

Recipient of

Evidence of receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor.

Note: This category has very high standards. ( e.g.; Fields Medal, Pulitzer prize, MaCarthur prize, etc.)


Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field.

Note: One good example would be membership in 'National Academy of Science'. Membership based solely on level of education, years of experience or that require annual dues do not meet the required standard. 

Employment Status Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
Salary A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.