The majority of losing O-1 visa petitions have one thing in common. They’re put together passively, not actively. They’re essentially a haphazard collection of evidence that already exists, no matter how unpersuasive, low-quality, or tangential it might be. They’re cobbled together from random stuff that happened in the past that seems vaguely to fit in a category. They don’t have a narrative.

In this passive (and losing) approach, the 8 categories are just a rote list that you go down, with each O-1 element having equal weight. OK, we have two awards, three media articles, one exclusive membership, stop, we’ve hit the minimum, let’s file.

This is not a good way. You won’t be doing it that way. Instead, you’ll be taking a smart, active and aggressive approach to the O-1 visa and engage with your lawyer from the beginning. You’re going to compile it forward, not document it backward. You’re going to reverse-engineer it. You’ll design it, then build it, and put together what an OPTIMAL O-1 petition would look like for a person in your situation. You’ll be aiming for the maximum, not the bare minimum.

You’ll be leveraging the cool stuff that you’re already doing out in the world, and building out your O-1 category evidence, at the same time, presenting yourself as a professional with top accolades, achievements and abilities. Since you’re doing world-changing things anyway, you might as well do them in a way that gets you an O-1 visa, right? With this active approach, you can compile an amazing, high-quality package that delights your adjudicator to elicit a ‘YES’ to your O-1 petition.

Ofcourse, your O-1 attorney will take care of the bulk of the strategy and planning for the O-1, but you can also get closely and collaboratively involved, and you should. Use your own initiative, hustle, and creativity to compile key evidence materials. It’s never too early — or too late — to start. With portfolio in hand, you can approach your lawyer with confidence, and get your O-1 petition prepared more effectively and efficiently.

Now let’s get started.