This week, we have been discussing one of the major requirements of the O-1 visa application for people with extraordinary abilities: the peer group consultation letter. This letter, which should be submitted along with Form I-129, the petition for nonimmigrant workers, is an advisory opinion from a peer group, labor organization, or other official expert in the field that you have extraordinary talent and that you are coming to the United States for valid employment.
Is a consultation letter always required for the O-1 visa?
It may be called a “required consultation letter,” but there are several reasons that you may not have to include a letter with your O-1 visa application. If you can prove that there is no appropriate peer group, labor organization, or other official available to provide a letter, the USCIS does not require one—this is common with certain types of people with extraordinary abilities, such as researchers. However, note that in place of the consultation advisory, you do have to provide solid evidence that no advisory is possible.
In addition, you may not need to provide a consultation letter with your O-1 visa application if you are extending or renewing your visa or if you are applying for a new O-1 visa within two years of your original application.