Led by attorney Yusra Bokhari, we help employers and individuals protect their foreign nationals’ status and obtain specialty O and specialty H employment visas for uniquely qualified candidates seeking employment in the U.S. This includes drafting successful first-preference immigration petitions, visa petitions for spouses and/or children, applications to extend, petitions to adjust status for permanent residence visas (employment and family-based immigrants), and ongoing audits to maintain compliance with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
We have represented both foreign nationals and businesses in immigration and naturalization applications, as well as applications to extend/change nonimmigrant status, before the USCIS and Departments of State and Homeland Security.
Recently, we successfully obtained an ineligibility waiver for a foreign national denied entry to the United States following an overstay. USCIS initially denied re-entry due to client’s brief overstay in 2020 following heart surgery necessitating a multi-year reapplication process. Undeterred, we navigated the consular process, working through the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, and the client was issued a new visa within a few months.
Additional examples of our experience include:
- Advised international businesses through the process of setting up local subsidiaries in the U.S.
- Obtained specialty O visas for professional soccer players seeking U.S. employment with local clubs.
- Worked with a world-renowned jewelry designer from Canada to obtain a specialty visa allowing her to tour nationwide with internationally acclaimed musicians.
- Obtained specialty O visas for atmospheric scientists seeking employment with U.S.-based research organizations.
- Advised international investors on complying with Office of Foreign Asset Control regulations and trade sanctions.
- Served as primary legal counsel for over 2,500 international students sponsored by the Saudi Arabian foreign mission in matters ranging from lease disputes to immigration/removal proceedings.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR AN “O” VISA?
The specialty O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. “Extraordinary ability” means the individual has achieved “a level of expertise indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who have arisen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”
WHO CAN APPLY FOR AN “H” VISA?
This nonimmigrant classification applies to people who wish to perform services in a specialty occupation, services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a Department of Defense (DOD) cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.
NAVIGATING THE APPLICATION PROCESS
We help employers – known as “agents” – and uniquely-qualified individuals – known as “petitioners” – prepare and present compelling employment-based visa applications far exceeding the petition requirements.
The petitioner’s agent or petitioner must provide demonstrable evidence of the petitioner’s ability, including:
- advisory opinions from a labor organization, peers, or a peer group;
- contract between the petitioner and agent establishing that the petitioner will continue to work in their respective field of extraordinary ability;
- itineraries with an explanation of the nature of the events or activities, beginning and ending dates, and any formal or public itinerary for the events or activities; and
- three different types of documentation illustrating the petitioner’s extraordinary ability, such as qualifying awards for excellence in their field, related memberships or classifications, published and credible media, sustained national or international acclaim, and evidence of comparable employment and salary.
When you need to recruit a foreign national to your team or expand your career opportunities in the U.S., we’re here to help.