O-1 For Construction Consultant
- Petitioner: Mr. Joo
- Year: 2018
- Applying for: O-1 Outstanding Talent Work Visa
- Nationality: Chinese
- Position: Construction Consultant
- Industry: Construction Focused Computer Software
- Halfway through the application process, Mr. Joo’s employer passed away, his company was closed and the application plan was halted
- Mr. Joo’s new employer is a software company but Mr. Joo’s expertise is in construction
- There are ten criteria for being considered to have “outstanding talent”, Mr. Joo barely qualified for the minimum of three
- Mr. Joo’s greatest accomplishments had been done five to ten years ago
- Mr. Joo applied for immigration into the U.S. and was approved but he was never given a schedule; he’s waited five years for the USCIS to allow him entry
Mr. Joo had already accomplished a lot, but still, he wanted to do more. At the age of 51, Mr. Joo was happily married to the love of his life and was raising his now teenage daughter. He had been working as a construction consultant for 20 years now but the days were becoming increasingly dull. The meetings, the projects and his every day seemed to blend into a mush of concrete and blueprints. His life had grown stagnant and he wanted a change in his life. After consulting with his family, they agreed that they wanted to move to the United States, where his daughter could study and where Mr. Joo and his wife could enjoy their golden years together. The image of his family together on the West Coast of California warmed his stagnant heart and in a flash, Mr. Joo had found a bright light of hope in his stagnant day-to-day life.
Mr. Joo was no fool; he found a multitude of immigration lawyers to discuss his plans with. Most of the other lawyers told him that it wouldn’t be possible for him to get a work visa in the U.S., emphasizing that Mr. Joo didn’t meet the requirements. That’s when Mr. Joo found Tsang and Associates. He explained to us what he wanted but he didn’t know how to get his application approved. Tsang suggested that he might qualify for the O-1 Outstanding Talent visa program. It was a long shot and Mr. Joo just barely had the qualifications, but it could work. They agreed that it was worth trying and Tsang began work on the application and pitch that would prove that Mr. Joo could be considered to have Outstanding Talent.
In October of 2017, tragedy struck Mr. Joo’s company and his application. The majority shareholder in his company passed away and his company was to be liquidated and closed indefinitely. In the current application, this company was sponsoring Mr. Joo’s visa; with it closed, he would need to find a new company that would be willing to sponsor him and worse yet, his application would be suspended for five months.
As soon as the suspension was over, we were prepared; we had a new O-1 application, with a new visa sponsor ready to go. This didn’t mean Mr. Joo was guaranteed anything here. For anyone to qualify to have Outstanding Talent, they need to meet at least three out of ten criteria; this could mean internationally recognized awards, published written material, like scholarly articles or material featured in a major trade publication. He could have been included in a panel of judges for a contest in his field, made a high salary performing his craft or have evidence of a plethora of contracts fulfilled in his career. Mr. Joo had none of the above written. So we focused on the three evidentiary criteria he did have, even though the evidence wasn’t very strong.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Mr. Joo qualified for three out of the ten criteria, so we focused on these three and emphasized Mr. Joo’s experience, ability, and prominence in each position. We had explicitly stated and presented evidence that Mr. Joo had met the membership to community recognized institutions, authorship of professional papers, and industry expert criteria.
Fulfilling the three criteria wasn’t all he would need; we would need letters of recommendation from professionals in the field to vouch on his behalf. We were able to get a prominent architect and a university professor to affirm Mr. Joo’s importance to industry and his outstanding contributions to the field. We also instructed these two to compare Mr. Joo’s techniques with the techniques used by American companies so we could prove that Mr. Joo would be a perfect fit in the American architectural complex.
Lastly, we would need to show that Mr. Joo fulfilled critical roles in his career. To do so, we submitted a large engineering contract that Mr. Joo was responsible for when he was a senior executive at a domestic construction company. Although this was around 5 to 10 years ago, our aim was to show the scope of his abilities and that Mr. Joo was capable of handling enormously difficult workloads.
Within three days of applying, Mr. Joo was approved for the O-1 Outstanding Talent visa. While the paperwork and schedule weren’t fully delivered for another year, Mr. Joo was overcome with joy. There were many twists and turns along the way and with his last employer passing, it seemed like his move to the U.S. wasn’t meant to be. But through hard work, determination and some outstanding talent, Mr. Joo is now living and working in California with the love of his life and his teenage daughter; all thanks to Tsang and Associates.
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