O1 stories please....

Old Jul 6th 2009, 6:56 pm
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Default O1 stories please....

Hi everyone,

I'm new here; I'm a produced screenwriter, about to take the stomach-churning leap into applying for an O1 visa. I've read through the forums for people's successful and failed experiences - and realise the decision is ultimately somewhat subjective. I'd really appreciate hearing details of anyone's applications - ie how compelling was your case that you're 'extraordinary'?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 6th 2009, 8:27 pm
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Check out the first few pages of the forum; there have been two O approvals posted in the past month.
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Old Jul 7th 2009, 5:33 am
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Default Re: O1 stories please....

Well it depends on what you have actually written, and, I would imagine, the caliber of people you know that can vouch for you.

Richard Curtis could get an O1. Hugh Laurie is maybe on one right now.


Personally I found the O1 an incredibly difficult challenge. As a 29 year old scientist I had a tough time convincing them that I am world famous. I haven't been around for that long to build up the reputation normally required.

In the end I had 31 letters of recommendation from CEOs and profs at Berkeley, Harvard etc. - the scientific equivalent of a letters from Steven Spielberg and his peers confirming that you have the reputation the O1 demands, along with all my papers, papers that have referenced my papers, patents, awards.....this was a tremendous ordeal to organize.

Having said that, I think it may be easier for you as an artist - normally scientists would go for an H1.

We've had movie-types on here recently report difficulties on getting the O1, so go into this knowing it is likely to be a difficult journey.

Critical to your success will be hiring a good attorney. You can't hope to do it on your own. Unless you have a major award (eg Oscar, Bafta), you will need to assemble a formidable array of evidence, and you will need an experienced attorney to weave all the evidence together into a cohesive argument.

I would never have been able to do it without professional legal help.
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Old Jul 7th 2009, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: O1 stories please....

Thanks Caleyjag; I've spoken to a bunch of lawyers and have one lined up. I'm 32 and my credits are pretty good (including some international awards). My lawyer rates my chances of success at 75-80%. Do you reckon the professional testimonies are the crucial factor?
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Old Jul 7th 2009, 6:40 pm
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To add - any advice from filmmakers/actors who've been through the process would be particularly useful. I have a significant TV gig lined up, by my US agent is petitioning the visa (rather than the production company). Has anyone been in a similar situation?
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 2:46 am
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Default Re: O1 stories please....

Originally Posted by rjdevlin View Post
Do you reckon the professional testimonies are the crucial factor?
For me I think that was by far the most persuasive and significant evidence I provided.

I'd imagine it is something you should organize. Time to put your network to work!
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 5:03 am
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Default Re: O1 stories please....

Originally Posted by rjdevlin View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new here; I'm a produced screenwriter, about to take the stomach-churning leap into applying for an O1 visa. I've read through the forums for people's successful and failed experiences - and realise the decision is ultimately somewhat subjective. I'd really appreciate hearing details of anyone's applications - ie how compelling was your case that you're 'extraordinary'?

Thanks!
Are you on here? http://www.imdb.com/find?s=all&q=devlin&x=15&y=7
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 7:11 am
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Default Re: O1 stories please....

Ditto what Caleyjag said, if we'd decided to go for an O1, my husband would have had to get lots of testimonials from 'heavyweights' that know him and his work.

For him they would have been from people like David Cameron and Brian Cowen, along with many others.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 8th 2009, 11:43 am
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Default Re: O1 stories please....

Hi rjdevlin
We've just received our O1 and O3 visas in the past few weeks after what seemed like an agonising process. It doesn't seem like it now but we were both quite worried about being rejected. (My O3 obviously relied on him getting his O1 anyway though.) We began the application process in April and were approved by USCIS in May, booked our interview in Dublin on 4 June - our visas turned up about a week later. I don't know if this is usual or if we've been lucky but it was all actually quite painless in the end - I know others haven't been so fortunate though and it's certainly not a process to take lightly.

My advice would be to get as many testimonials and supporting evidence as you can - more than they actually ask for if you can. Our situation is slightly different to yours as my husband is starting a new job at telecoms company in Seattle in August so their lawyers did most of the leg-work for us as they were desperate to get him out there. My husband had to gather as much supporting evidence as he could first, including testimonials from peers, details of published work, certificates, accreditations etc, basically anything that puts you above the rest. Do you have a company sponsoring you or are you going it alone? I would recommend getting an immigration lawyer too if you can as they know the process inside out and can give you advice every step of the way.

Good luck! I hope it goes well!
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