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H-1B visas for Fashion Models (H-1B3) require a different form of evidence then the standard H-1B visa for those in a specialty occupation. Unlike H-1B visas for those in specialty occupations, H-1B3 fashion models are not required to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, or it’s U.S. equivalent. This sub-classification within the H-1B finds its genesis in the language of the original H-1B laws (pre-1990) that refer to the H-1B3 holder as an individual who has “distinguished merit and ability.” In order to qualify for an H1B3 visa, the petition must be filed by a U.S. employer or agent.


Evidence must be submitted to establish that the H-1B3 fashion model will be performing services, events or productions of a “distinguished” reputation, including:


  • Documentary evidence (such as certifications, affidavits, reviews) to establish the beneficiary is a fashion model of “distinguished merit and ability”. Affidavits submitted by present or former employers or recognized experts must set forth the expertise of the affiant and the manner in which the affiant acquired such information; and


  • Copies of any written contracts between the petitioner (employer) and the H-1B3 fashion model or, if there is no written agreement, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed


The preparation necessary to obtain an H-1B3 visa for fashion models is similar to the preparation necessary to obtain an O-1 visa for persons with extraordinary ability. The major difference is the standard of proof that must be met to qualify for the respective visa categories. 


For one to qualify for an O-1 visa, the evidence must establish that the person is one of extraordinary ability in their field, a very high legal standard. The evidence presented in an H-1B3 fashion model petition must establish that the person is of “national or international acclaim”. This standard is more readily obtainable if the necessary evidence is collected and presented properly. If you have been hired by a U.S. employer or agency, to work as a fashion model, we can help you assemble the necessary evidence and show that you meet this standard.


Please do not hesitate to contact us by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x100) or by e-mailing to us at

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