8 Reasons You Are Extraordinary

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8 Reasons You Are Extraordinary!

How Changes in Immigration Will Affect Startups


President Obama’s Recent Immigration Proposals Include International Entrepreneurs-

The percentage of startups in the U.S. that are founded by foreign nationals is staggering. The U.S. draws the best and brightest of the world who want to study, start companies, and establish a network here. So, it’s no surprise that President Obama announced a special status for entrepreneurs/founders/ researchers on November 20, 2014 when he proposed a number of immigration actions to address the need for better immigration policies.

Of course, it will take a while before his proposals will take effect. In the meantime, we should talk about the other visas available to talented entrepreneurs who want to launch a business, product and/or idea here. One visa I encourage all foreign nationals to consider is the O-1 Visa for individuals of extraordinary ability.

There are eight criteria and you need to show three to qualify (taken from Evidentiary Criteria for O-1A):

  • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor
  • Membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought which require outstanding achievements, as judged by recognized national or international experts in the field
  • Published material in professional or major trade publications, newspapers or other major media about the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s work in the field for which classification is sought
  • Original scientific, scholarly, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field
  • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media in the field for which classification is sought
  • A high salary or other remuneration for services as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
  • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or in a field of specialization allied to that field for which classification is sought
  • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation

‘If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence in order to establish eligibility.’

Think about what you have accomplished so far, and create opportunities for yourself.   You’re probably closer to being “extraordinary” than you think!

Join Nadia for a workshop on Immigration for Startups on Thursday, January 15. Register here!

Nadia Yakoob-Sway

Author Nadia Yakoob-Sway is a Partner at SW Law Group, a boutique immigration law firm with offices in the Bay Area, New York, and Tokyo.  She has been practicing immigration law for the last fourteen years and works primarily with startups, emerging companies, and entrepreneurs.  She has spoken at the United Nations on trends in labor migration.  She graduated from Georgetown University’s Law Center where she was the Editor in Chief of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal and obtained a Master’s from the London School of Economics.  Follow us @SWLawGroup.


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