USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on O Visa

The Guidance expands upon evaluating O-1 eligibility, including how USCIS officers determine if the O-1 beneficiary has extraordinary ability or achievement. An officer first determines whether the O-1 petitioner has submitted evidence meeting the minimum number of criteria or a qualifying award. If the O-1 petitioner meets the evidentiary requirements, the officer must then consider all the evidence in the record in its totality to determine if the O-1 beneficiary is an alien of extraordinary ability or achievement.

The guidance further clarifies the circumstances under which a petitioner may rely upon “comparable evidence” to meet the evidentiary requirements for certain O-1 beneficiaries. For comparable evidence to be considered, the O-1 petitioner must explain why a particular evidentiary criterion listed in the regulations is not readily applicable to the beneficiary’s occupation, as well as why the submitted evidence is “comparable” to that criterion.

For a case study of one of our O-1 visa approval, click here.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline the O-1 visa evaluation process.  If you would like us to obtain O-1 visa, call our experienced O-1 visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online


Expansion of Interview Waiver Eligibility for Non-immigrant Visa Applicants

The Department of State has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview for visa applicants applying for a non-immigrant visa in the same classification. This is a very good news. For example, I have applications to renew treaty investor visas (E-2) filed in March that are still pending and the consulate has not resumed in person interviews. Especially, for successfully entrepreneurs with solid financials who are employing workforce and otherwise meet the treaty investor visa (E-2) requirement, this makes a perfect sense.

At the time of COVID-19 pandemic, reducing in person interactions and the necessity to travel reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This policy also helps with the backlog of visa applications that have been filed when the consulates were closed.

Previously, only those applicants whose non-immigrant visa expired within 12 months were eligible for an interview waiver. The expiration period has been temporarily extended to 24 months. This policy is in effect until December 31, 2020.

Please note that this articles does not constitute a legal advice.  We provided some information about the latest policy regarding the wavier of in-person interview of non-immigrant visas. If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for any non-immigrant visas, call our experienced immigration attorney attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.