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O-1B Visa Case Study - Textile Designer

  • TimeFrame

    01/01/2015 – 12/01/2015
  • Return on investment


Project Description

O-1B Case Study

Lauren McCalmont - Textile Designer

Lauren approached PLG in 2015 to secure an O-1B visa based on her extraordinary ability as a textile designer. It was obvious from the start that she was exceptionally qualified, so the primary challenge we faced was how to best organize and present the vast evidence that was available. We broke the process down in the following phases:

Phase One - Understanding the Field: Our first step with Lauren, as with all of our clients, was to delve into her craft in order to better understand her work. As is often the case with exceptional people, Lauren was very humble and it was only after a long series of questions that we learned how extraordinary she was. We learned about the crucial role of a textile designer and we looked over her portfolio of incredible work with some of fashion's most notable brands. At this point we had a good understanding of how to proceed.

Phase Two - Case Preparation: Our next step was to prepare a detailed checklist and timeline for each phase of the case, as well as to supply Lauren with several sample letters. We often find that the most time-consuming aspect of an O-1 case is gathering support letters and deal memos. Over time we have learned that it is best for the client if we provide samples for review. Additionally, if the letter is coming from a well-known individual, we will also supply any additional research that we are able to access. These approaches result in less work for the client, a more streamlined process and produce higher quality letters. In Lauren's case we reviewed all of her letters and collaborated on edits.

We submitted the O-1B petition to the California Service Center and received an approval two weeks later. Lauren is currently based in L.A. and a sample of her designs are displayed below:

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O-1B Visa Case Study - Graphic Designer

Raja Sandhu - Graphic Designer

Raja Sandhu is a Canadian graphic designer who has represented some of the world's largest brands. He came to us with significant experience as well as multiple awards for outstanding work. Raja approached us to secure an O-1 visa based on his extraordinary ability in design. More specifically, he wanted to enter the U.S. to work as an in-house designer with a startup company, but also wanted flexibility to work for other employers. Therefore, our challenge was to structure his application in a way that would allow this flexibility. In order to achieve this goal we structured his application in the following manner:

1. Petitioner who acts as an agent to file the petition;

2. Multiple employers who supply deal memos promising to hire Raja. Each deal memo includes specific language indicating the agency relationship;

After securing the above we completed Raja's application in the following phases:

Phase One - Gathering the Evidence: After an exploratory meeting, we provided Raja with a detailed checklist of documents and evidence we need. Due to the volume of evidence it was important that we highlighted only the relevant documents. Without a very detailed checklist clients often have to spend excessive time gathering documents they do not need while also delaying case submission.

Phase Two - Case Preparation: Our next step was to prepare a persuasive support letter that highlighted appropriate elements of Raja's career. We believe it is important to focus on what is relevant and not to overwhelm the USCIS with superfluous information. To this end we included the most persuasive of Raja's design work and critical praise. Often times the evidence that you omit is as crucial as the evidence submitted.

Phase Three - Contacting Appropriate Peer Groups: Every O-1 petition requires the beneficiary to secure an advisory opinion from a peer group, labor organization or person with expertise in the beneficiary's field of extraordinary ability.* In Raja's case, the appropriate group was the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). After we finished preparing Raja's entire application we sent the completed file to AIGA for review. They replied within 2 weeks with a glowing endorsement of his petition.

We submitted the O-1B petition to the California Service Center and received an approval two weeks later. Raja is currently based in San Francisco. You can visit his website here:

Here is Raja in his own words:

““An application for a O-1 visa was needed, which can seem like a very difficult and complicated process for those looking to get one. Working with right attorney makes the difference. Ashkan made things so simple and easy, whereas others made it intimidating and complex. He’s got super down-to-earth communication skills and talks to you like a friend while keeping it all pro. Just 2 weeks after my application was submitted, I was approved—need I say more?

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E-2 Visa Case Study - Play&Co

PLAY&CO - A Los Angeles Design Firm

Play&Co is the brainchild of Australian designers Brendan and Karen Hutchieson. They approached us in early 2015 with grand ideas of leaving their design jobs and pursuing their dream of starting their own firm. After several Skype conversations we nailed down a road map to get them to the U.S. on an E-2 visa. We faced a couple challenges:

1. Proving to the Consulate that their investment was sufficient to justify an E-2 visa. Immigration regulations require that investment in an E-2 business be "substantial in a proportional sense". We'll spare you the drawn-out legal explanation of this language by summarizing: The amount of money invested in the business should be similar to what it would cost to either buy a similar business outright, or to start a similar business from the ground up. We chose to prove "proportionality" by working together on a comprehensive outline of similarly situated design firms. We then approached some of these firms here in Los Angeles and secured letters outlining the minimum costs required to open such a business.

2. Quick Turnaround Time. The nature of the E-2 visa is that much of the investment has to be committed prior to the filing of the application. Understandably, the investor needs to move quickly in order to ensure that their significant investment is not wasted. During this time the investor is usually scrambling to tie up loose ends at home while still managing a new business here in the U.S. In the case of Play&Co, they had already secured client contracts and needed to return to the U.S. ASAP in order to meet deadlines. Thus, we had less than 2 weeks to prepare the application. Executing a complex E-2 application at this speed requires very clear communication between the client and attorneys. Any misstep in document gathering or company formation can cause major delays. Thankfully, Brendan and Karen were about as prepared and responsible as any clients we have ever encountered. With their help we were able to prepare the application at light-speed and got them back to the U.S. in time to meet their deadlines.

Brendan and Karen are now in the U.S. and Play&Co is growing by the day. We are proud to now call them our friends.

If you want to view some of their brilliant work, you can look them up at:

Now here's Brendan, in his own words:

“I am an Australian citizen and Ashkan and Jessica recently helped me prepare and apply for an E2 Investment Visa. What impressed me about their service was their timeliness and speed, honesty, professionalism and diligence.

Here’s a high-level overview:
Step 01: An open no-obligation consultation over Skype, where they listened intently to my objectives and provided candid and frank feedback about the E2 visa application criteria.

Step 02: I met Ashkan and Jessica face to face. They spent almost 3 hours with me reviewing my business plan with a fine toothcomb and walking me through the visa checklist.

Step 03: While I was assembling all required documentation for the visa application process, They were available around the clock to answer any questions I had. They even went above and beyond, getting documentation from outside sources that would support my case regarding proportionality of my investment. Additionally, during this time he was talking to the US consulate in Melbourne to ensure that my application was filed in accordance to their particular procedures.

Step 04: Once I’d gathered all the necessary documentation, they compiled the application (almost 600 pages worth) within 3 days for submission to the US consulate. Once submitted, my interview with the consulate happened within 3 weeks. I was approved without hesitation or hick-up and know without any doubt that it was because my case was so thoroughly prepared.

This visa application went extremely smoothly and fast, I’d definitely recommend Ashkan and Jessica without any hesitation for someone who is seeking expert immigration advice.

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