OOOOO LALA, THE REALITY OF THE O-1 VISA PROGRAM FOR EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

The crux of an O-1 visa (sometimes also called a talent visa) is extraordinary, a word of art. The issue is that what makes a person unique is very subjective. In the eye’s applicant, a personal talent might seem very extraordinary, like the ability to play the piano, guitar, sing or the ability to paint, or maybe because the person is a “YouTuber” or the so-called “influencer” on Instagram or “TikTok” with a few hundred thousand followers. The reality is that there are many extraordinary people in today’s world, but only the ones who comply with the law will get granted an O-1 visa.

The Objective conditions for the O-1 applicant is written in the US immigration law with very defined criteria. Let’s look at the general eligibility and then specific eligibility in turn.

In general, the applicant must show:

  1. an extraordinary ability AND
  2. show continuous national OR preferable international acclaim, AND
  3. must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

Now specifically, in the fields of science, education, business, or athletics, extraordinary means:

“a level of expertise indicating that you are one of the small percentages who have arisen to the very top of the field.”

In the fields of arts, extraordinary means:

a high level of achievement and distinction as shown by a degree of skill and recognition

“substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that you are prominent,

renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.”

In the field of the motion picture or television industry, extraordinary means:

a record of achievement evidenced by “a degree of skill and recognition significantly

above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that you are recognized as outstanding, notable, or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.”

Two things are entirely irrelevant to these types of applications: 1) the type of talent, as long as it meets the exceptional criteria, and 2) that the work to be performed in the United States requires someone with such extraordinary talent.
O visas are not given for a particular fixed period. They are issued depending on the itinerary submitted with the application. The itinerary must state several events or performances, or engagements in which the applicant must attend for the duration of the visa.
We have successfully processed O-1 visas for tattoo artists, professional chefs, guitar soloists, singers, songwriters, professional dog handlers, fashion models, and actors at EDAM LAW.

President Donald Trump and John McCain’s long-running feud is back in the spotlight following reports that White House and lower-level US Navy officials traded emails about keeping a warship named from the late senator’s father and grandfather out of sight ahead of the President’s trip to Japan.Two Navy officials confirmed to CNN Wednesday night that the White House Military Office asked lower-level US Navy officials about keeping the ship out of view. One of the Navy officials further clarified Thursday morning that the discussion included obscuring the ship or moving it, which was not practical because the ship was under repairs at the time.”Once leadership heard about it, they said knock it off,” a senior Navy official told CNN.Speaking to reporters Thursday morning before leaving the White House, Trump denied knowing about the plan and said that although he “is not a big fan” of McCain, he wouldn’t have supported it.”Now, somebody did it because they thought I didn’t like him — OK — and they were well-meaning, I will say. I didn’t know anything about it. I would never have done that,” he said.The ship ultimately was not moved nor was anything done to obscure McCain’s name, said Cmdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet, and Trump tweeted Wednesday night that he was “not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain.” But the emails underscore Trump’s extraordinary and bitter personal feud with McCain, with whom he frequently sparred when the Arizona Republican was alive and even after he passed away from brain cancer in August.The Wall Street Journal first reported the discussions about moving the ship. The President ultimately spoke to troops at a Memorial Day event aboard the USS Wasp in Yokosuka, Japan.The Journal reported Wednesday that a tarp was put in place to cover the ship’s name since it could not be moved due to repairs, but three Navy officials speaking to CNN pushed back on this claim.”We didn’t do anything to obstruct the name of the ship. The Wall Street Journal piece refers to a photo of a tarp covering the ship, that photo was taken Friday, May 24, the tarp was removed the following day,” another US Navy official told CNN.The official said they had not seen the emails in question, but was adamant nothing had been done to obscure the ship.Another Navy official with direct knowledge of the matter told CNN that the tarp and paint palette were there for preservation and maintenance purposes, adding that the palette is a typical fixture for docked ships. The official said the ship’s commanding officer wasn’t aware of the tarp and that it was gone before he arrived on board Saturday.Doss told CNN on Wednesday that he could confirm “that the picture of the tarp is from Friday and it was taken down on Saturday. Paint barge was also removed ahead of the visit.”Officials pushed back on the Journal’s reporting that a barge had been moved so as to obscure the name of the ship. One official said “the barge had been there regularly. At one angle, you might not have seen the ship’s name, but the name was visible at all times.”The US Navy’s chief of information, Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, also tweeted Wednesday night that the name had been visible.”The name of USS John S. McCain was not obscured during the POTUS visit to Yokosuka on Memorial Day,” Brown said in a tweet. “The Navy is proud of that ship, its crew, its namesake and its heritage.”

Trump, Shanahan deny knowledge

Trump first said Wednesday night on Twitter that he had not been made aware of any plans concerning the ship: “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan. Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women – what a spectacular job they do!”On Thursday morning, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, “in terms of ship movements, the only ships I’ve moved is the USS Abraham Lincoln,” a reference to recent US military moves to pressure Iran.”Furthermore, I would never dishonor the memory of a great American patriot like Senator McCain. I also think it’s important — I’d never disrespect the young men and women that crew that ship. I’ve asked my chief of staff to look into the matter,” said Shanahan, adding that he first learned of the incident Thursday morning.Trump and McCain, who was the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, were frequently at odds before and during Trump’s presidency. In 2015, Trump attacked McCain — who had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam — as “not a war hero” and again criticized the senator from Arizona after he died of brain cancer last August.The barbs against McCain from the President did not stop after his death. Seven months after McCain passed away, Trump mocked him on Twitter inaccurately for coming “last in his class,” and rebuked McCain for voting against a GOP bid to repeal Obamacare. “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” Trump said at the time.McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, reacting on Twitter Wednesday to the Journal’s report, called Trump “a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads incredible life.””There is a lot of criticism of how much I speak about my dad, but nine months since he passed, Trump won’t let him RIP. So I have to stand up for him. It makes my grief unbearable,” she wrote.

Immigration has been a touchstone of the U.S. political debate for decades, as policymakers must weigh competing economic, security, and humanitarian concerns. Immigration affects us all. Whether you are an immigration lawyer, an employer hiring H-1B migrants, or a potential future tax-paying citizen of this country, the issue will likely determine the outcome of the 2020 election in the United States.

If Donald Trump wins re-election in 2020 what can we expect in regards to immigration law?

To be as objective and unbiased as possible, we researched information from Forbes, law.com, CNBC, Fox News, and Caspian Report and collated it in this report. We cover 5 key issues that will likely surface in the political landscape as election day (Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020) draws closer.

As asylum seekers approach the U.S. Mexico border, and migrant caravans seek the safety of U.S. soil, the issue is likely to be tense and politically heated. Here are some predictions we can expects to see in immigration law:

1. Greater Regulation on H-1B Visa Holders and Their Employers

Higher barriers to entry for H-1B visa holders.

A National Foundation for American Policy analysis of USCIS data found Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order helped lead to a 41% increase in the proportion of H-1B petitions denied between the 3rd and 4th quarter of FY 2017. Source: Forbes.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

2. Government Shutdowns

Continued government shutdowns.

The government shutdown, which happened as a result of disagreements on the appropriations bill to fund the operations of the federal government for the 2019 fiscal year.

If past performance can be indicative of future promises, the Trump administration will continue to use the topic of immigration as a means to increase security, especially at the border. (Where leftist Democrats see the president as fear mongering, right-wing Republicans see his passion to build the wall as a calculated security measure).   

3. Further travel bans on terror-linked countries

At the height of the Syrian migration refugee crisis on March 6, 2017, Trump issued an executive order temporarily suspending immigration from six countries. These six countries were

For a period of 90 days migrants were not allowed to come in from these countries. According to reports from BallotPedia, the move was enacted as a countermeasure to give the U.S. government greater time to implement heightened visa screenings and data sharing between departments & foreign countries. If the administration can do it once, they can do it again.

One of the most important topics during 2018 was the complaint by Human Rights Watch Organizations against the treatment of refugees in detention camps. Deportees were processed without due process of law. Human Rights Watch reported 12 deaths in 2017; these deaths were linked to substandard medical care.

4. Congressional Oversight of Immigration Policy

In the past two years, there has been virtually no Congressional oversight administration immigration policies (including migrant detention, forced deportation, punitive customs actions, and severely delayed proceedings.) That will change with the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives. This provides greater opportunities for immigrant attorneys and lawyers working with the migrant population, as the greater oversight will allow more cases to open up. Source: Forbes

5. RAISE Act may do away with the Visa Lottery

The bill would move away from the system of awarding visas based on various categories of employment and instead implement a points-based system. Under the points-based system, potential immigrants would earn points “based on education, English-language ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of extraordinary achievement, and entrepreneurial initiative.” An individual would need to earn 30 points before becoming eligible for a visa; they would then join a pool of other eligible individuals, from which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would twice per year select individuals with the most points to fill out applications. Up to 140,000 immigrants would be granted employment-based visas annually.

The bill would also eliminate the Diversity Lottery—which was established to provide 50,000 visas to individuals from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States—as well as family-based immigration for siblings and adult children. Permanent visas given to refugees would be capped at 50,000 annually.

President Donald Trump endorsed the bill, stating “This legislation will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the bill, saying that the bill “goes after hardworking people who want to play by the rules” and that “to cut immigration by half a million people, legal immigration, doesn’t make much sense.” Source: BallotPedia

What are the chances Donald Trump wins re-election in 2020?

We The People: Final Thoughts

“How is the U.S. being viewed in Europe?”

As we do, they do.

The U.S. goes into a Recession, the rest of the world follows.

We elect nationalistic-minded leaders, other nations start to follow suit and do the same. i.e. Germany, Italy, France, Bosnia.

“European policy makers will take steps to press for a divorce from America; they will take active and irreversible steps to prepare for a post-NATO world. This divorce was bound to happen either way, but Trump has accelerated that process by decades.” Source: Caspian Report

Trump is a reflection of us

John F. Kennedy once said “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

Perhaps we should do less finger pointing at the politicians in power, and look to our own biases and fears.

We, the American people elected this president; he is a reflection of us. Simon Sinek says: “Our politicians are a mirror, raised to us.”

We end with this video:

#immigrationlaw #immigrationlawyer #trump #2018 #2019 #2020 #h1bvisa #visalottery #asylum #investorsvisa #lotteryvisa #immigrationlawmiami #immigrationattorney #becomearesident #greencard #visa #america #immigrate #immigrant #migrants #attorney #daca #dumptrump #elections #migration #elections2020 #abogadoinmigracion #leymigratoria #leydeinmigracion #visadeinversionista #visadeloteria #greencard #asilo #asilopolitico #abogado



The U.S. Department of State released its Visa Bulletin for March 2019. That’s a big deal if you’re waiting for your priority date to be current so that your green card application can move forward.

If you don’t know what a “visa bulletin” or a “priority date” is, we’ve got you covered. Start by checking out the Boundless guide on How to Read the Visa Bulletin.

If you’re already familiar with those terms, skip ahead to our summary of key developments or to the filing category that’s most relevant to you:

Family-based categories

Employment-based categories

Now let’s continue…

The Bottom Line

The March 2019 Visa Bulletin brings some new movement in wait times for both the family- (“F”) and employment-based (“EB”) green card categories.

The following key developments combine analysis by Boundless and insight from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), which checks in every month with Charles “Charlie” Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division at the U.S. Department of State, for his assessment of “current trends and future projections.”

In family-based categories:

In employment-based categories:


Wonky technical note: This post focuses on the “Final Action Dates” in the Visa Bulletin because these dates are most relevant for figuring out when applicants will ultimately receive their green cards.

USCIS announces every month, however, whether applicants should file their “adjustment of status” applications (those for immigrants already residing in the United States) based on the “Final Action Dates” or the “Dates for Filing.”

For such applications filed in March, family-based visa applicants must use the “Dates for Filing” (available on the State Department’s website), whereas employment-based visa applicants must use the “Final Action Dates.” Applicants filing from abroad must follow the Final Action Dates.

Read on for details…


Family-Based Green Card Backlogs

F-1: UNMARRIED CHILDREN (AGE 21 AND OLDER) OF U.S. CITIZENS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General Category22-Oct-1122-Sep-11–1 month
China22-Oct-1122-Sep-11–1 month
India22-Oct-1122-Sep-11–1 month
Mexico1-Aug-971-Aug-97No change
Philippines1-Apr-0715-Mar-07– 2 weeks, 3 days

Movement in this category is very similar to that in February. Mexico makes no progress for the eighth consecutive month:


F-2A: SPOUSES AND UNMARRIED CHILDREN (UNDER AGE 21) OF U.S. GREEN CARD HOLDERS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General Category8-Jan-171-Dec-16–1 month, 1 week
China8-Jan-171-Dec-16–1 month, 1 week
India8-Jan-171-Dec-16–1 month, 1 week
Mexico15-Dec-1615-Nov-16–1 month
Philippines8-Jan-171-Dec-16–1 month, 1 week

Movement is stronger in this category this month, but Mexico makes slightly less progress than the rest, a reversal from February:


F-2B: UNMARRIED CHILDREN (AGE 21 OR OLDER) OF U.S. GREEN CARD HOLDERS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General Category1-Aug-121-May-12–3 months
China1-Aug-121-May-12–3 months
India1-Aug-121-May-12–3 months
Mexico22-Sep-9722-Jun-97–3 months
Philippines22-Jul-071-Jul-07–3 weeks

This month, most countries in this category double their forward movement in February. Mexico, however, shows strongest movement, leaping forward by 3 months, compared with only 2 weeks in February:


F-3: MARRIED CHILDREN OF U.S. CITIZENS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General Category8-Sep-0622-Aug-06– 2 weeks, 3 days
China8-Sep-0622-Aug-06– 2 weeks, 3 days
India8-Sep-0622-Aug-06– 2 weeks, 3 days
Mexico15-Jan-9622-Dec-95–3 weeks, 3 days
Philippines1-Jan-9622-Aug-95–4 months, 1 week, 3 days

All countries in this category advance, with strongest movement for the Philippines. Mexico finally makes progress after a 5-month standstill:


F-4: SIBLINGS OF U.S. CITIZENS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General Category22-Sep-0522-Jun-05–3 months
China22-Sep-0522-Jun-05–3 months
India8-Jul-0422-Jun-04–2 weeks, 2 days
Mexico8-Feb-988-Feb-98No change
Philippines1-Jan-961-Oct-95–3 months

Most countries in this category make much healthier advances than in February, while Mexico makes no progress for the fourth month in a row:


Employment-Based Green Card Backlogs

EB-1: EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE, OUTSTANDING RESEARCHERS AND PROFESSORS, AND MULTINATIONAL EXECUTIVES AND MANAGERS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General Category1-Jan-181-Oct-17–3 months
China22-Feb-1715-Dec-16–2 months, 1 week
Central America1-Jan-181-Oct-17–3 months
India22-Feb-1715-Dec-16–2 months, 1 week
Mexico1-Jan-181-Oct-17–3 months
Philippines1-Jan-181-Oct-17–3 months
Vietnam1-Jan-181-Oct-17–3 months

Movement is strong for everyone in this category, though China and India show slightly weaker progress:


EB-2: EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE AND ADVANCED DEGREE HOLDERS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General CategoryNo waitNo waitNo change
China1-Jan-161-Oct-15–3 months
Central AmericaNo waitNo waitNo change
India9-Apr-096-Apr-09–3 days
MexicoNo waitNo waitNo change
PhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo change
VietnamNo waitNo waitNo change

Mostly good news in this category, with no lines for nearly all countries except China and India:


EB-3: BACHELOR’S DEGREE HOLDERS, SKILLED WORKERS, AND UNSKILLED WORKERS

CountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
General CategoryNo waitNo waitNo change
China8-Jul-151-Jul-15–1 week
Central AmericaNo waitNo waitNo change
India22-May-0922-Apr-09–1 month
MexicoNo waitNo waitNo change
Philippines1-Dec-171-Aug-17–4 months
VietnamNo waitNo waitNo change

No lines for half of the countries in this category, plus the general category, a trend that started at the beginning of the new fiscal year. Lines for India and China advance at a slightly weaker pace than in February, while the Philippines shows strongest movement:


Finally, just to be complete about all of this: The no-line pattern of previous months continues for EB-4 “special immigrants” from the general category, China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The line stalls again for Central America (a reversal of the previous month), while Mexico advances at a steady clip. In the EB-5 investor category, only China and Vietnam continue to have uncleared backlogs, though China shows some progress.

CategoryCountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
EB-4: Special ImmigrantsGeneral CategoryNo waitNo waitNo change
ChinaNo waitNo waitNo change
Central America1-Mar-161-Mar-16No change
IndiaNo waitNo waitNo change
Mexico1-Jan-181-Sep-17–4 months
PhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo change
VietnamNo waitNo waitNo change
CategoryCountryNew Cut-off DateOld Cut-off DateChange in Wait Time
EB-5: InvestorsGeneral CategoryNo waitNo waitNo change
China8-Sep-141-Sep-14–1 week
Central AmericaNo waitNo waitNo change
IndiaNo waitNo waitNo change
MexicoNo waitNo waitNo change
PhilippinesNo waitNo waitNo change
Vietnam15-Jul-1615-Jun-16–1 month

Why This Matters

If you’re in line for a green card, it’s important to keep track of actual changes (and likely future developments) in the Visa Bulletin. It’s always a good idea to prepare all the documents needed for your green card application ahead of time, so you can be ready to file as quickly as possible once the Visa Bulletin shows that a green card is available to you. By failing to file in a month when a green card is available, you risk facing a surprise backward movement (“retrogression”) in the next Visa Bulletin, which would close your window of opportunity for filing a green card application.

Stay tuned for next month’s update! As always, we’ll highlight all the important changes for you. In the meantime, let this 2-year-old toddler help you sharpen your baking skills.