One of the top mistakes when applying for the O visa, is failing to indicate which classification you fall under. There are different standards review depending on whether you are applying under the arts, business, sciences, or film and television.If you don't make it clear in your application which standard of review applies to you, immigration will always pick the more difficult standard. If it is unclear from your job title which classification should apply, it is always good practice to include a detailed job description which explains which classification should apply to you.
The Kazarian Memo which was put into effect several years ago started as a way to evaluate evidence for I-140 petitions. However, the AAO has decided that they will use the exact same standards set forth in the memo to adjudicate O visa claims. This means that anyone who is applying for an O visa needs to know the standards set forth in this memo. A key component of the memo refers to a "final merits determination". Practically speaking, this means you have to show that not only do you meet the requisite evidentiary criteria, based on all of the evidence submitted you have achieved sustained achievement in your field of endeavor.
Not every form of press is useful to your case. If you are including press in your application, you must include the distribution, circulation or readership to prove that the press is major. Media outlets usually have advertising kits that you can research in order to help you with this issue.
All testimonials must include the bio of the person writing the testimonial, how they know you, and describe your achievements and recognitions. Your achievements must be described in factual terms. For example, it is useless for a person to just describe you as "wonderful". It is best for them to describe the awards that you have achieved, the productions you have been in, and how they know this information. If they talk about any awards you have achieved, they should also mention the significance of the award in the industry.
Making the argument that because you received the O visa in the past entitles you to an O visa now does not work. The AAO has consistently denied O visas to people that managed to get them in the past. It is better to focus your energies on explaining why you meet the criteria than rehashing the past.
For more information about the O1 / Artist visa check out our O1 / Artist Visa Application Guide and O1 / Artist Visa Immigration FAQ.