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How do you satisfy the O-1A visa Scholarly Articles requirement?

To obtain an O-1 visa, you must meet at least three of the eight "extraordinary ability" criteria.


The O-1A Visa Overview

The O-1A visa is a work visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the United States temporarily. 

To qualify for an O-1A visa, you must:

  • Have received a major internationally recognized award such as a Nobel Prize or Olympic Medal.


One of those eight criteria is the "Scholarly Articles" criterion. 


What is the Scholarly Articles criterion?

Let's start with the official wording in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS) policy manual describing the Scholarly Articles criterion:

"Evidence of the beneficiary's authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional journals, or other major media"

In other words, USCIS is looking for individuals who have written peer-reviewed articles or other professional articles for industry publications. 


How many articles do you need for a solid scholarly article case?

There isn't a specific number of articles you need to submit for the O-1 scholarly articles criterion. You could satisfy the criterion with one article or with ten. It’s more important to focus on quality over quantity. Quality articles are authored by you, related to your current work, and published in distinguished journals. 


If you are unsure which articles to include in your O-1 visa petition, consult an experienced immigration attorney. 


Do sponsored posts on business journals count toward the scholarly articles criterion?

No. You cannot use a sponsored article for an O-1 visa petition.


What are some examples of non-academic articles that satisfy the scholarly articles requirement?

  • A Forbes article on trends in the crypto economy written by an entrepreneur who runs a crypto startup
  • A Harvard Business Review article about people management techniques written by a leadership coach
  • An IEEE article about various applications of natural language processing written by an expert in artificial intelligence


Do my articles need to relate to my current work?

Generally, yes. All of your O-1 criteria evidence needs to show that you are an expert in a particular field, and that field must be the same throughout each O-1 criterion. For instance, you might be an expert in healthcare technology applying for an O-1 visa to be a VP at a healthtech startup in the U.S. Your articles could be peer-reviewed articles about nutrition or technology-related business articles. However, it would be challenging to include articles that don't relate to healthtech, like articles about archaeology or fashion. 


Does the number of citations on my articles impact this criterion?

No. Citations are not taken into account for this criterion. What matters is that the article was authored by you, published in a qualifying publication, and relates to your current field of work.


What type of evidence do you need to submit for the scholarly articles criterion?

You must include copies of your scholarly articles, information about the publications, and certified translation (if applicable). 

Final Thoughts: O-1 Visa Eligibility

Satisfying the O-1 scholarly articles criterion is straightforward. Some of the other criteria, however, are more nuanced. If you want an expert opinion on the strength of your O-1 case, set up a consultation today. 

About the author:

Annie Blay

Content Marketing Specialist

Before joining the marketing team, Annie helped over 60 Legalpad clients navigate U.S. immigration on the client services team.