Note: We have not provided the real names of our clients or defining details about their companies in order to protect their confidentiality.
O-1A Visa Success Story
From his home country of Russia, Timur had managed to accumulate widespread recognition for his contributions to the fields of web technology and mobile application development. Timur managed to launch a number of mobile applications and web sites for his own enterprises as well as for a number of other companies that had contracted his services. Many of these websites and apps became widely popular, achieved impressive ranking in relation to similar products, and were highly used based on the number of site visits and app downloads.
Timur began interning with a United States company of the same industry for almost six months, resulting in the company's desire to employ him fully within the U.S. We were subsequently hired to assist in filing of an O-1A visa for extraordinary ability petition to make that wish a reality.
Timur's petitioning company was a recently established privately funded web development and technology company engaged in the management of websites. It was also a branch of an umbrella corporation, a more longstanding domain provider offering an array of products intended to deliver innovation to internet users seeking to establish a web presence.
Timur had been interning in the company as a software engineer and had quickly impressed his employers, demonstrating his exceptional talents in developing new ways to process massive amounts of data while building advanced software products. With a special algorithm of his own design, Timur was able to solve the issue of the company's efforts to process and create daily reports of its six million domain names in real-time. With Timur's algorithm, it could accomplish these reports in as low as ten minutes. Under the company's proposed position of senior PHP developer for O-1 visa, Timur would be utilizing his unique website and IT technology development skills in building the company's software.
A major part of O-1 visa petition preparation was focused on persuading USCIS as to Timur's particular achievements in the field of web technologies and mobile applications development. In doing so, we had to show that Timur earned national or international acclaim through at least three of the following attributes:
- The individual has received nationally or internationally recognized awards or prizes in his or her field.
- Membership in associations requiring exceptional achievements as judged by recognized national or international experts in their fields.
- The applicant's endeavors have been described in professional trade publications or by major media organizations.
- The individual has participated as a judge of others's work in the an identical or similar field.
- The individual has authored scholarly articles that have been published in professional trade publications or other major media.
- Original scientific, scholarly or business-related contributions of outstanding significance in the applicant's field.
- Performance in leading or critical roles for organizations of distinguished repute.
- High salaries for services performed.
- Any other evidence to demonstrate the extraordinary nature of the applicant and his or her eligibility, if the other criteria do not apply.
We were able to demonstrate how Timur met at least 3 of the criteria above by the articulation of the following evidence.
Awards for Excellence in the Field
In the petitioning letter, which described Timur's qualifications for the visa, we addressed what it means to be considered successful in website and mobile app development fields. Specifically in these fields, the measurement of success may be assessed by web and app metrics showing widespread usage and popularity of the products.
Main indicators of success and popularity of a web product or a mobile app normally include the following:
- Ranking of the technology.
- Number of web page visits, unique users, sessions or a number of downloads.
- Number of followers on social networks.
Therefore, as part of the first criterion, we were able to demonstrate that Timur's technology received top rankings in the field. Some of the mobile apps he developed ascended to the top positions in Google Play and App Store, achieved high number of downloads, and some of the websites developed by him boasted millions of visitors in addition to millions of social media followers and subscribers.
Furthermore, Timur's work also received more traditional prizes for being considered the top projects in the field, as recognized by leading advertising agencies in Russia.
Timur's projects also received investor funding, which we also sufficiently utilized in order to satisfy this criterion.
Wide Media Coverage
Timur's products received very impressive media coverage in his home country's top media sources.
It is important to remember that the sources of the publications need to be well recognized. However, they do not have to be recognized in the U.S. so that such recognition has to be shown only for the individual's home country. In order to prove that the media sources are well known, their circulation information can be provided, or, in such data's absence, it is also possible to provide other documentation proving these media sources' popularity.
Original Contributions of Major Significance in the field
For this criterion, we addressed Timur's most successful projects, providing information about them, Timur's role in their development, as well as his contributions and achievements for each project, providing information on the specific indicators of success and popularity of his products.
To support the assertions of Timur's important contributions to the field of web and mobile app development, we provided detailed written testimonies as proffered by other experts in the field, including other leading IT professionals, investors and business owners. The testimonial of industry experts proves to be invaluable in O-1 visa submissions as it gives an independent review of the beneficiary's qualifications, skills, achievements and their importance.
In addition, as evidence of Timur's contributions, we presented documentation of him being invited as an expert to speak on the new IT technology releases for well-established organizations as well as on TV stations, which is another indicator of one's overall recognition and reputation in the field.
Timur also wrote a number of articles on software, web and mobile app development, which were published in various online sources. Timur's publications received widespread commentary as well as sharing on social media. These articles received remarkable amounts of viewership and some of them were also widely referenced by students and academics.
It is perhaps unsurprising that Timur also commanded a much greater salary than those similarly situated in his field in Russia. We were able to prove this criterion by the presentation of salary documentation and highlighting comparisons to the typical salaries of other IT professionals.
Critical and Leading Role in the Organizations with Distinguished Reputation
Finally, we were able to present evidence that Timur served leading or critical roles for the organizations with distinguished reputation. Serving in various positions, such as CTO, Product Manager, Team Lead and Senior Software Engineer, Timur played a major part in the company's operations and we provided detailed letters of recommendation from his past employers and supervisors, documenting his specific job duties and responsibilities as well as his position's placement in the company's hierarchy and his overall role.
Distinguished reputations of the companies was proven by evidence of their own recognition, investment funding, honors and awards, media coverage, ranking and other publicly available data.
We were thus able to provide overwhelming evidence that Timur was more than qualified under the O-1A visa guidelines, and the petition was approved. Even with such impressive clientele, the process was by no means a simple one, but with correct focus, prudence and capitalization on each case's strengths, the opportunity for success is always present.