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Canadian pin-up model Bettina May has been making headlines for earning the first United States green card under an O-1 visa for burlesque.
It takes a very select group of people to qualify for the O-1 visa and eventually secure a United States green card. Not only do you have to have a special talent, you have to be the best at it. Some of those who would qualify would be Nobel Prize-winning scientists, Olympic athletes and Academy Award-winning actors or actresses.
May is now an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability in the field of Burlesque, Pin-Up Modelling and Vintage-Style Instruction”.
Obtaining an O-1 visa is extremely difficult. One needs to prove that they possess an extraordinary ability in their field, using written opinion (called a consultation) with a specified group that are considered experts in the subject, such as a labour organization. They’ll also need to prove that they have a contract for work in the United States offered by a United States employer.
In addition, the applicant’s travel itinerary including their timetable and agenda must be indicated.
While May was waiting for her green card, she had to remain in the United States and was not able to return home to Victoria, BC. Now that she has her green card, her first plan is a trip home. Because she is self-employed, she sponsored herself for a green card.
There are several types of O-1 visas that can make it easier for foreign nationals to visit and work in the United States, including specific ones for the film and television industry and for others with extraordinary abilities such as scientists and athletes.
The O-1 visa is not an easy visa to obtain as you must meet several strict requirements. Many United States employers and applicants go it alone when they want to apply for an O-1 visa, and as a result many of these applications are denied.
If you are a person with extraordinary skills or abilities, or an employer who needs to bring someone to the United States to work for you because they have extraordinary abilities, contact our licensed immigration law firm to speak with an immigration attorney. We can make the difference between success and failure when you apply for an O-1 Visa.
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