O and P Visas for Athletes, Entertainers, Scientists, and Artists

P and O visas mainly utilized by athletes, entertainers, scientists, artists, and other professionals. Essentially, P-1 visas are issued to internationally recognized athletes, individually or as part of a group or team; P-2 visas are issued to an artist or entertainers under a reciprocal exchange program; and P-3 visas are given to artists and entertainers coming solely to perform, teach, or coach under a culturally unique program.

The general difference between P and O visa holders is that the eligibility standards are lower for a P visa and P visas are limited to certain athletes, entertainers, and artists. O visa holders can come from the same background as P visa holders as well as from the fields of business, education, science, or in motion picture and television productions. Finally, P visa holders must maintain a foreign residence which he or she does not intend to abandon, while O visa holders do not need to maintain a foreign residence.

If you are looking for affordable immigration attorneys to examine your visa eligibility call us today at 405.600.9910. Free consultation available.

Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA")

In 1994, Congress passed a law whereby a spouse, child, or parent of an abused child was either physically battered or subjected to extreme cruelty can self petition for VAWA. VAWA self-petitions apply equally to men and women. It should be noted that VAWA petitions require lots of documentation and time in preparing an application and is actually a immigrant (long-term) visa. However, The basic requirements include:

  1. The abuser is (or was) a U.S. citizen (USC) or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR);
  2. The alien is the spouse of a lawful permanent resident ("LPR") or U.S. Citizen ("USC") abuser, or the parent of a child who was abused by your LPR or U.S. Citizen spouse;
  3. The LPR or USC abused the alien during the marriage;
  4. The alien entered the marriage in “good faith";
  5. The alien must reside in the United States or fall within one of the few exceptions to this rule;"
  6. The alien must have lived with the LPR or USC abuser at some point; and
  7. The alien must be a person of good moral character.

The documentation to show physical battery or extreme cruelty can be shown through any filed police records, court documents (VPOs), letters from persons who witnessed the acts, photographs, and other records. Please prepare a thorough packet before submitting your VAWA application. Tai Stevenson & Associates can assist you with this process.

U Visas for Persons who Assist in the Investigation or Prosecution of a Criminal Offense

U visas are available for victims of crime who are willing to assist law enforcement officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Criminal activity is defined as a crime that violates United States criminal law; including but not limited to, abusive sexual contact, blackmail, domestic violence, extortion, false imprisonment, felonious assault, hostage, kidnapping, murder, rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, torture, trafficking, and other related crime. If you are eligible, you can obtain permanent residence status three (3) years after obtaining a U visa. The basic requirements for those seeking U visas are the following:

  1. The individual must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of a qualifying criminal activity.
  2. The individual must have information concerning that criminal activity.
  3. The individual must have been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
  4. The criminal activity violated U.S. laws.

Often times, individuals are eligible for both a U visa and VAWA self petition. So what are the differences between the two visas and which one should you apply for? One major difference is that U visas have a 10,000 per year cap limit while VAWA has not cap limit. This can often affect U visa applicants because if he or she has to wait a year before applying for a U visa, his or her assistance with the criminal case may not longer be needed. Another major difference between the two visas is that VAWA petitioners require a qualifying relative (spouse, child or parent of a LPR or USC) and a showing of "good moral character" while U visas have no such requirement. Please note both U visa and VAWA self petitions can be very tricky and requires lots of documentation. We strongly advise you to consult with one of our immigration attorneys before applying for either visa.

T Visas for Victims of Human Trafficking

A T visa are available for those individuals who are victims of human trafficking. Often times, these individuals are tricked into the world of human trafficking by false promises of a better life and employment. Human trafficking is basically a form of modern-day form of slavery, and the victims are subjected to sexual exploitation and/or forced labor. The basic requirements include:

  1. You must be a victim of severe trafficking, as defined by law
  2. You are in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry due to trafficking
  3. You have complied with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of human trafficking (or you are under the age of 18, or you are unable to cooperate due to physical or psychological trauma)
  4. You must demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if you were removed from the United States

R Visas for Religious Workers

R visas are available to temporary religious workers and there is no cap limit. To qualify for a R visa, a legitimate and non-profit religious organization with active U.S. participant must apply for you. Further, you must be affiliated with the religious organization for at least two (2) years prior to filing for a R visa. R visa holders will usually be granted status for up to 30 months with maximum extensions allowable up to five (5) years.

Other Non-Immigrant Visas

Please keep in mind there are many other non-immigrant visas available, so please feel free to contact us for a free consultation at (405) 600-9910 if you are interested in applying for one of many non-immigrant visas.