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"If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough."

—Oprah Winfrey


O1 Visa Recommendation Letters are an extremely important piece of the O-1 Visa application. The reason why they are important is that the USCIS wants to know what other prominent individuals in the field or related fields have to say about your work. In order to produce an appealing letter, following specific guidelines set by the USCIS is key to have a well-written letter. It is important to note that O1 Visa Recommendation Letters for an application are completely different from other letters of recommendation. Here are lists of suggestions you can follow:

The first paragraph of the letter should talk about the Author’s Expertise. You can do this by stating their years of experience within the industry or their authority in the industry. This shows that the author is prominent in the field which is why they are able to express their opinion of your prominence.

The second paragraph should highlight your talent and extraordinary ability in the field. Try to use words like “talent”, “ability”, “aptitude”, and “skill”, along with adjectives like “extraordinary”, “superb” exceptional”, “rare”– words that are extremely flattering to a reader. Remember to be specific in regards to what makes you a talented individual.

What the USCIS adjuster is interested in when looking for your letters, is why you’re recognized and what you have accomplished during your professional career that sets you apart from others in your industry. So make sure your recommender specifies your accomplishments and any recognition you received.

You may also include any information that can influence the USCIS you’re extraordinary should be mentioned. This can be anything from who you have worked with if you were awarded any awards or any other facts that can help establish your exceptional ability.

*Phrases and language to avoid, if possible:

Remember always avoid using any type of language which implies that you will be great in the future. Without mentioning how you are great now in the present and have been in the past. Phrases such as: “she is enjoyable, humble, useful, has great potential, etc. will weaken the letter.

The reason for this letter is to show that you are already “extraordinary” and that you have “risen to the top of his/her field.”

It will not help if the letter focuses on “no outstanding” work – like training, but is not relevant and could weaken the case.

Always give detailed explanations to show the author really know what they are talking about –make sure they explain exactly why you are exceptional.”

Only discuss awards that are nationally or internationally significant and have recognition. Do not mention awards from Universities.