The Extraordinary Ones (Part III)
Three immigrants seeking a highly coveted visa struggle to prove their worth to the United States.
What makes a person extraordinary?
One of the most coveted types of visas are those which allow foreigners to live and work in the U.S. if they can prove they have extraordinary abilities in their fields. The O-1 “extraordinary persons” visa lasts for one to three years and can be renewed; the EB-1 version leads to permanent citizenship. Tens of thousands of people apply for each type every year, from Italian filmmakers to Moroccan hair stylists, often paying thousands of dollars in lawyer and application fees. Here are the stories of three visa applicants who successfully received the “extraordinary person” designation.
Josu de Solaun is a world-renowned classical pianist from Spain. He applied for his EB-1 visa over two years ago, and then made the mistake of leaving the country. For one year, while his visa was being processed, he couldn’t re-enter. He lost concert gigs, students, and the way of life he’d grown accustomed to. Now, de Solaun has finally made it back to New York, with…