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USCIS Publishes Memo Clarifying Validity Period of the O-1 Visa

Aug15
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USCIS Publishes Memo Clarifying Validity Period of the O-1 Visa

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a recent memo to provide guidance on the adjudication of Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, filed on behalf of O nonimmigrants.  The memo focuses on clarifying the appropriate validity period of the O visa when gaps exist between events on the nonimmigrant’s itinerary.

The validity dates for the O visa are defined by the specific period of time it takes to perform the events reflected in the itinerary.  The length of time, or “gap”, between events has been viewed by adjudicators as separating the first event from subsequent events for purposes of determining validity periods.  In other words, in the case of a lengthy gap between events, adjudicators have determined that a single petition was filed for separate events, rather than one continuous event.  Therefore, the validity period of the O visa often ends after the culmination of the first event, rather than extending through all events scheduled on the itinerary.

The USCIS memo clarifies that the time period between events should not determine the validity period of the O visa; there is no requirement for a “single” event in the statute.  Rather, “adjudicators should evaluate the totality of the evidence submitted to determine if the activities described in the itinerary are related in such a way that they would be considered an “event” for purposes of the validity period.

Read the USCIS memo here.

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