Outstanding Tennis Player

Outstanding Tennis Player

EB-1 immigrant petition granted for a world-ranked tennis player.
  • 10/02/2012 LB was approved for an O-1 visa extension until 10/01/2013. She had been in O-1 status since 2008.
  • 09/27/2013 LB files an I-140 to apply for an employment-based immigrant visa.
  • 01/08/2014 LB is approved for an immigrant visa under the EB-1A category.
  • 02/14/2014 LB files an application for adjustment of status, for her to be issued a green card.
  • 10/02/2014 LB was approved for a green card, and is now a U.S. lawful permanent resident.

Success Story

LB is a national of New Zealand. She was a successful athlete from an early age, and had already won several national and international titles. Because of her name and talent, she was recruited for a coaching/training position in an elite training facility located north of Chicago, IL.

Initially she was sponsored by the training facility as an O-1 nonimmigrant worker based on extraordinary ability. However, because the O-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, it was valid only for a given period of time and needed to be extended regularly. Furthermore, it did not allow a path to permanent residence or citizenship.

LB’s employer had also considered sponsoring her for an employment-based immigrant visa under the EB-2 or EB-3 categories. But the problem was that LB’s job as a trainer normally did not require a master’s or a bachelor’s degree – in fact in the world of athletics, athletic talent is measured by rankings and other official statistics, not by academic degrees. This situation made the EB-2 or EB-3 categories inapplicable to LB’s job. Even if her employer created an opening for a trainer position to fit the EB-2 or EB-3 categories, LB would not have qualified for job because she did not possess the required academic degrees.

Our firm did some research and examined LB’s credentials, and we suggested that LB may qualify for an employment-based visa, but under the EB-1 category instead. The EB-1 category is for outstanding researchers, artists, and other professionals. It includes outstanding athletes, and a labor certification is not required, saving LB and her employer from additional processing time.

We guided LB throughout the process, and coached the successful trainer in finding the right documents and other items to support her petition. We filed the I-140 petition on her behalf, and a Request for Evidence or RFE was issued. The USCIS asked for additional documents to explain how LB qualified for the EB-1 category, and set a deadline within which to submit these documents. RFE’s are normally issued even in well-documented cases, and it can be a jarring experience, especially to people who have filed USCIS petitions or applications on their own and without the help of an immigration attorney. Our firm was there to reassure LB that her case is fundamentally sound, and we helped her craft additional statements to expound on her already extensive credentials.

In the end, the USCIS approved LB’s visa, and several months later, LB received her green card which allowed her to work without restrictions.