Thursday, October 15, 2009

USCIS Clarifies O and P Visa Filing Procedures for Agents

O and P visas apply to non-immigrants with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, or in the motion picture and television field. O and P petitions may only be filed by a U.S. employer, a U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent. Often, an O or P employee will work for multiple employers during his/her stay in the United States. The relevant regulations allow a bona fide agent to petition on behalf of such a person, as long as an itinerary listing all actual employers is provided. The Service has found that in some cases involving multiple employers for an O or P employee, the first employer will file on behalf of the individual and list the other employer(s) on the itinerary. CIS has clarified that only a company that is “in business” as an agent can do a filing on behalf of multiple employers. This policy statement creates uncertainty as to how a company can prove that it is "in business" as an agent to the satisfaction of a particular USCIS adjudication officer.

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