Silicon Valley O and P Visa Applicants to See Faster Processing

Good news for Silicon Valley artists, performers, athletes, and "superstars" in their respective fields, who rely on the "O" or "P" visa to enter the U.S. to perform at various events. "O" visas are for persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, and "P" visas are for athletes and entertainers. Both of these visas are routinely used for performing artists. Last week, USCIS Director Mayorkas told a gathering of arts groups that regular processing for O and P visas should be accomplished within fourteen days. This is welcome news as USCIS processing delays can often result in artists and performers missing scheduled events. Although agents and event organizers need to plan to allow time for USCIS adjudications, various entertainment and artistic fields often finalize events and specific artists with relatively short notice.

Our Palo Alto immigration law firm welcomes this news, and is looking forward to seeing if the USCIS really does adjudicate regular O and P filings within fourteen days. Currently, this law office routinely files P cases via premium processing, which costs an extra $1000 but promises to adjudicate the case within fifteen days. This is out of necessity, as the first of scheduled events is often for thirty days after the petition is filed. However, if the USCIS will start adjudicating O and P cases within fourteen days, clients will be able to save the $1000 premium processing fee.

While this is welcome news, the timing for O and P visa applicants to actually obtain their visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad is an entirely different matter. The length of time to obtain an interview for an O or P visa can range from one or two days at several of the busiest U.S. Consulates, to thirty (Ho Chi Minh City) or thirty-five (Beijing) days. O and P petitioners need to plan for the actual visa processing in their home country, as well as for the time for the USCIS to adjudicate the petition.

Work Visas / by Michelle Gee