Qi & Shang

 SUCCESSFUL O-1 SELF PETITION REENTRY CASE

·         Applicants: Ms. Qi and Mr. Shang

·         Nationality: Chinese

·         Business: Digital Media and Online Consulting Firm

·         Ages: Mid-twenties

·         Challenges:

o   Both applicants had their O-1 visa revoked by CBP officer and had to urgently apply for a new visa in order to return to the United States

o   The client’s previous attorney went on vacation and could not be reached.

o   We were retained to urgently to prepare a refiling of O-1 visa at the consulate showing that the CBP officer was incorrect in their determination to cancel the visa. 

o   Applicant’s self petition business did not have any employees and their own salary were not high

Ms. Qi and Mr. Shang, a couple in their mid-twenties, went on a brief trip to Canada to visit their family but unfortunately, the couple was denied reentry by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. The couple was questioned for several hours regarding their qualifications for the O-1 visa: what they did before they got the visa, what they were doing in the U.S., their employer, their education, but then ultimately denied them because the officer deemed them not qualified for the O-1 visa. The clients were furious and frightened. They needed to return to the U.S. as they had classes to teach and clients to serve. They could not find their prior attorney and everyone they spoke with advise them to return to China and to apply for another visa, but they could not afford to do that as it would likely take a minimum of 6 months before they could enter the U.S. That is when they turned to Tsang and Associates PLC.  

Background

When the applicants called the attorney at Tsang & Associates asked for a transcript of their preceding. In reviewing the notes, the CBP officer denied the O-1 visa because the officer had a misunderstanding regarding O-1 self-petition applicants and the Automatic Revalidation guidelines and deemed them not qualified. It did not help that the clients did not fully understand the guidelines either and the facts were not pretty. The applicants ran a small business with no employees other than the two of them. The company did not make a profit the last year and their salary was not high. Purely on the bases of the facts, the officer had a hard time believing that the applicants were “extraordinary”.

After seeing the facts, our attorneys immediately suggested that the applicants schedule an immediate urgent interview in Canada where they were. This was because it would be much faster securing an interview there compared to China and they would not have to make a costly cross pacific return flight.

Then, while the clients waited for the second interview, our attorney crafted a simple heartfelt letter to the consulate, explaining the qualifications of the applicant and kindly requested the reinstatement of the O-1 visa for the applicants.

Keys to Success

Tsang and Associates firmly established in their attorney briefing, and supported it with relevant documents, that the couple had always been completely open and honest with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State throughout the application process and maintenance of their O-1 Visa status. The attorneys argued that the original 0-1 petitions were approved by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) on the basis that complete documents were submitted, and that USCBP had approved their reentry to the country under O-1 Visa status on numerous occasions. In this case, the only thing that had been different was the officer involved in this particular instance. By presenting the couple’s previous documents, we were able to explain and highlight the main point. We were further able to demonstrate by showing information from the couple’s original petitions that they were, indeed, aliens of extraordinary ability by highlighting their past accomplishments and extensive coverage of their artwork in the media. 

Furthermore, by providing other documents and drafting affidavits, our attorneys were able to demonstrate that the denial of the couple’s visas would create dire consequences not only for themselves and their business, but also for their business’ clients and employers.  We demonstrated that the permanent loss of their visa status would cause dire consequences for the couple’s business and others as well, further establishing the need to reinstate their visa. 

Lastly, we also successfully and persuasively argued that the couple qualified for reentry to the United States on the basis of Automatic Revalidation. We showed that under the automatic revalidation provision of immigration law, certain temporary visitors holding expired nonimmigrant visas who seek to return to the United States may be admitted at a U.S. port-of-entry by CBP under the condition that they meet two criteria: First, the visitors must be nonimmigrants who departed the United States for a brief travel to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island, for thirty days or less. Second, the nonimmigrants must have a valid and unexpired admission stamp or paper Form I-94 endorsed by the Department of Homeland Security. We were able to demonstrate that the couple left the United States only for a day and traveled as far as Canada to spend a day with family.

OUTCOME

The couple came to our office on in 2017 and we were able to secure a successful reentry for them five days later. When they saw the approval the couple was overjoyed.