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An Advisory Opinion: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

An advisory opinion is a vital piece of your petition. It is also considered to be a technical requirement of your petition.

Elektra B. Yao

Published in

A simple way to look at an advisory opinion is to understand that it is a letter from a labor union which does “not object” to the granting of the O-1 visa .

It is also considered to be a technical requirement of your petition. You want to make sure that your petition includes all of the technical requirements so that once the officer goes to the merits based analysis of your case, your petition is not deficient. If you do not include the advisory opinion, you will receive a request for evidence, or an“RFE”.

This means that USCIS will specifically ask for this piece of your petition.

But what if you are a model or a fashion designer?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any labor unions for your profession. However, you can still satisfy the advisory opinion requirement by:

  • Securing a letter from a peer organization
  • Securing a letter from an expert in your field

An example of a peer organization is Fractured Atlas.

Additionally, an expert letter written by a professional with a high stature in your field. Keep in mind that this expert letter is substituting a U.S.-based labor organization. Therefore, it is always better to get the letter from someone who is a U.S. citizen or someone based in the U.S.

The letter should discuss your qualifications, why you were extraordinary, and why your future jobs need somebody with your extraordinary ability.

You may say, “Oh, this sounds like a testimonial letter.”

While a peer advisory opinion may sound like a testimonial letter, there are a variety of differences between the two. The advisory opinion is longer as it is extremely important to demonstrate to USCIS that the person is an expert in your field.

The purpose of the peer advisory opinion is to:

  • Demonstrate your extraordinary ability to USCIS by the union’s issuance of a letter of no objection;
  • Demonstrate the future jobs that you are contracted for; and
  • Discuss why you are extraordinary and why these jobs need somebody with an extraordinary ability.

To recap:

  • The advisory opinion is a technical requirement for your O-1 petition, you absolutely need to include this;
  • Advisory opinions are issued by labor unions;
  • If your profession does not have a labor union, you can strategize with your attorney as to what is the best option for you. These options include going to a peer organization or getting an expert letter from someone within your industry.

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