O-1 Visa Holders Denied U.S. Entry Successfully Re-entered Days Later
Applicants: Ms. Zhao and Mr. Xu
Industry: Web Consulting Firm
• The company is a private enterprise opened by the couple, which is easily considered a violation of the O-1 visa regulations, and conducts “Self-Petition”
• US Customs officers are not familiar with O-1 laws and regulations and the “Automatic Revalidation” policy
• The lawyer hired by the client is currently on vacation and cannot provide legal aid in a timely and effective manner
• The entire case must be prepared and delivered within one week; the time is very tight
Sometimes, U.S. visa holders will find that they have done nothing wrong, but they are troubled by customs staff, locked up in a “black room” for interrogation, and even repatriated to have their original visa revoked. In many cases, even the customs staff themselves do not correctly understand the relevant legal policies and procedures of entry-exit or visa. This can create enormous headaches for aliens entering the United States in compliance with the system. However, Tsang & Associates firmly believes that as long as professional and reliable legal advice is combined with a rigorous and conscientious legal team, any troublesome problems can be solved smoothly.
Ms. Zhao officially obtained the O-1 visa in March 2016, and her husband, Mr. Xu, also obtained the O-1 visa in August 2017. On September 28, 2017, the couple flew to Toronto for a conference and returned to New York the same day. Immediately afterwards, the two traveled to Vancouver again on October 4. However, on October 6, when the two re-entered the United States with their families and planned to stay in Seattle for a day, something unexpected happened. At the gate, the customs immigration staff locked the couple into a “small black room” and spent hours interrogating and investigating whether they met the O-1 visa criteria and the Automatic Revalidation policy conditions. The staff then denied the duo entry to the U.S. and canceled their visas because their visas had expired and the company that applied for the O-1 visas was privately owned. The immigration staff who canceled the two-person visa mistakenly believed that the private ownership of the O-1 visa application company meant that they violated the law and used “Self-Petition” to apply. In addition, although the couple’s visa has expired, they still meet the conditions of the Automatic Revalidation policy. However, judging from their interviews with the immigration officer, the immigration officer himself does not understand what the policy of Automatic Revalidation means.
In order to restore the O-1 visa as soon as possible, the couple rushed to the US Consulate in Vancouver for an interview. The lawyer hired by the two is currently on vacation and cannot provide them with any help. However, they cannot sit and wait in Canada until the lawyer’s leave is over, but need immediate legal assistance. There is no doubt that if the couple stays in Canada indefinitely, the business in the United States will be hit hard. What makes people even more anxious is that Mr. Xu is a lecturer at a well-known New York University, and he must return to school within a week to perform his teaching duties. After some Internet search and investigation, the two finally selected Zang Dikai United Law Firm (Tsang & Associates) to help them solve the extremely difficult problems at the moment. It is extremely difficult to prepare an entire supporting document to restore a legal O-1 visa in just a few days. Still, Tsang & Associates is not afraid of the challenge and firmly believes that we can help the couple win this case.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
The key to the success of this case was mastering visa law down to the tiniest detail. Tsang & Associates clearly understood that the customs officers, in this case, did not have a specific understanding of what the O-1 visa regulations are.
The customs officer informed the couple that the reason for the cancellation of the visa was that “the beneficiary of the O-1 visa cannot have any ownership interest in the applicant company.” Tsang & Associates pointed out that this is a misunderstanding of the O-1 visa requirements. We were able to point out and demonstrate that there is nothing in immigration law that prohibits a beneficiary from having an ownership interest in the applicant company.
We emphasized this point in our lawyer’s letter. We used relevant documents to prove that the couple truthfully reported the application data required for the visa from the beginning to the end. There was no deceptive behavior to the Immigration Department to obtain and maintain the visa. We propose that the original O-1 visa application can only be approved by the USCIS based on the complete submission of all data and documents by the couple and compliance with various requirements. Moreover, the couple also used the O-1 visa to enter and exit the United States many times and had never been “specially treated” by the customs before. Tsang & Associates submitted and explained the couple’s previous application documents, arguing that they are indeed rare by highlighting their outstanding achievements and honorable careers that have been widely reported in the media as Outstanding foreign talent.
In addition, by providing other relevant professional documents, we further elaborated on the dire consequences of canceling the two-person visa. The cancellation of the visa will not only cause huge troubles for the couple themselves but also bring unpredictable losses to their business, related customers, and employees. The duo’s consulting firm primarily targets the market in the design and prototyping of commercial lighting systems. This consulting job requires frequent meetings with customers in order to better conduct market research and product development to meet the diverse needs of customers. We also noted that part of the duo’s job responsibilities is to develop original educational software for STEM majors. What’s more, as a lecturer at a well-known university in New York, Mr. Xu has to return to the United States in time to teach 16 graduate students about new electronic equipment. We propose that if Mr. Xu fails to return to the United States as soon as possible, his classes will be postponed or even canceled, causing unnecessary trouble to the students. To sum up, ]Tsang & Associates made the visa officer more aware of the necessity of restoring the legal visa of two people.
Ms. Zhao and Mr. Xu approached Tsang & Associates for help on October 7, 2017. It took us only five days to help them restore their legal O-1 visas and re-enter the United States. When they came to the entrance with great anxiety and passed the customs smoothly, they couldn’t restrain their excitement and joy. Originally, the couple felt disheartened that their career, life, and plans in the United States had been put on hold indefinitely. However, Tsang & Associates firmly believes that as long as they are familiar with the application of each law and provide rigorous and powerful evidence and arguments, they can get back their legal visas and re-enter the United States without any worries. Our professional working attitude, superb business level, and efficient work efficiency have successfully impressed the couple. Therefore, they decided to hire us to handle their next EB-1A case.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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