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USCIS Provides Clarifying Guidance on O-1 Nonimmigrants in STEM Fields

By Thomas Lee

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The USCIS updated guidance on how it evaluates requirements for O-1A eligibility petitions for extraordinary ability in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields and whether an O-1 beneficiary's prospective work is within their area of extraordinary ability or achievement.



O-1A classification is applicable for individuals of extraordinary ability in science, education, business, or athletics. Examples of satisfactory evidence for the O-1A criteria and how it evaluates the evidence is provided.



In addition, if a particular criterion is not suited with their occupation, evidence that is of comparable significance that establishes sustained acclaim and recognition may be provided instead. It must show examples of possible comparable evidence that supports the petition working in STEM fields.



When evaluating an individual with extraordinary abilities, the adjudicating officers will focus on whether the prospective work involves the use of skillsets, knowledge, or expertise within the occupation(s) for the individual's acclaim.



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