November 2018 Updates

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We continue to successfully process Green Card applications in the National Interest Waiver category, especially self-petitions for designers and artists.  These applications are usually approved in 4-6 months which makes them an attractive option. Most of the cases we file are for our O-1 clients. Recent approvals include Japanese stage manager and production coordinator, Mai Sakamoto;Japanese sound designer, Hidenori Nakajo; Korean pianist and vocal coach, Dura Jun, who teaches at the Manhattan School of Music.

A recent Extraordinary Ability Green Card application for Australian nutritionist and yoga instructor, Lola Berry, was approved in October. Lola has been living in Australia and never held a non-immigrant visa.

We have noticed in recent months that the O-1 visas are being adjudicated more stringently. This includes both first time O-1 visas and renewals and extensions.  Accordingly, we are strategizing and preparing even more carefully than usual, and it is paying off!


First-time three- year O-1 visas

Indonesian illustrator, Keiko Nabila Yamazaki, who holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and had just finished her OPT, had her O-1 application approved within a matter of weeks in October 2018 and recently got her passport stamped.  See

Chinese-Swiss music composer and sound designer, Shuze Ren, who holds degrees in Electronic Production & Design/Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in California, had his O-1 approved in four weeks. Shuze’s case was approved in September 2018 and he just successfully entered the US on his O-1 visa.

Japanese painter and studio artist, Ryosuke Kumakura, had been in the US on an H-1B visa for almost six years. Since six years is the maximum for an H-1B, Ryosuke switched to O-1 status and was approved for the full three years.

We are honored to have obtained an O-1 for renowned Australian digital futurist and speaker, Chris Riddell. See

We are also excited to have obtained an O-1 visa for the iconic New Zealand horse rider, trainer and performer, Alycia Burton, who will tour the U.S. with her horses and train and help children. Alycia’s case was approved in September 2018 and she entered the US a few weeks later with her horses. See


We obtained O-1 and O-2 visas for the British wedding photographers, Darren and Sarah Hendry. Their cases were approved in October 2018 two weeks after they were received by USCIS using traditional (non-premium) processing. See


Other first- time three- year O-1 visas were obtained for a Graphic Designer from Thailand and a UX Designer from China.

Three-year O-1 renewals and extensions

 Italian hip-hop dancers, Mariele di Mauro and Alessandra Mai Vinh both extended their O-1 visas for three years and received approvals within four weeks and one week respectively, using traditional (non-premium) processing.  Japanese hair stylist, Ritsuko Hotaka, switched from a full -time employer to an agent (self-employed) case and received a three- year extension.  Scottish actor and teaching artist, Marcus Crawford Guy, received his second three- year O-1 visa as did Japanese photographer, Iori Tajika.  These are all agent cases where the artists work on a self-employed basis.

Chinese architectural designer, Dichen Ding, received her second three -year O-1 visa with the same full-time employer.

Processing times at the Vermont Service Center for our cases currently are 4-6 weeks.

E-3 Visas for Australians

We obtained an E-3 visa as Operations Manager at a restaurant for an Australian national with no degree. Instead, detailed work experience letters showing 12 years of experience in the field were submitted together with an evaluation. The client obtained his E-3 visa at the US Consulate in Sydney without any problem.

E-2 Investor Visas

These are gaining in popularity as the Immigration Service ramps up their issuance of cumbersome Requests for Evidence. E-2 visas may be obtained directly at US consulates overseas thus bypassing filing an application with the U.S. Immigration Service. We recently obtained an E-2 visa for an Australian national who invested in a fitness operation in New York City as well as for an Italian national who set up a hedge fund together with a U.S. citizen partner.

Are you a foreign national who is interested in setting up a business in the United States and importing goods from your home country? You may be eligible for the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa.


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