Denial rates for O visas (including O-1s and O-2s) rose in 2009
It's getting harder to move to the United States as more and more people want to live in the land of opportunity, but the law offices of Kate L. Raynor has kept up a consistent success rate for hopeful clients who want to live and work in America.
Recent stories in the media have reported that the California Service Center has been getting tougher as their denial rates for O visas (including O-1s and O-2s) rose from 9.6% in 2008 to 19.6% in 2009. Denial rates also increased for P visas 11.1% in 2008 to 26.8% this year.
The figures look scary - it appears to be getting harder to get visas but, at Kate Raynor's law firm, the quality of work sent to immigration has meant that the firm's results are bucking the general trend as clients continue to file O-1s and P visas with success. In fact, the office has a 97% approval success rate - higher than most, thanks to the dedication and expertise of the attorneys and paralegals working on cases.
Meanwhile, at the immigration offices, an investigation has been launched to find out why so many entertainers have been refused visas from the Californian Service Center and denied entry into America.
Musicians have been forced to cancel scheduled concerts, opera singers were denied the chance of singing with prestigious companies while directors have been refused the opportunity to work with some of the country's greatest acting talents.
Luckily, the tide is beginning to turn at the California Service Center. Alejandro Mayorkas, who was appointed to head U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last year, has stated that he is continuing to investigate the reasons for the increased problems and he has acknowledged that U.S. immigration data backs up the complaints.
US immigration attorneys, as well as disgruntled members of the entertainment industry, have been making their complaints about the increased visa denials and they are all, finally being heard as Mayorkas has started implementing some changes.
a) Pledging a speedier processing time for visas.
b) Greater consistency in judging the visa petitions in 14 days.
c) Increasing staff training.
d) Investigating the RFEs (request for evidence) .
The changes have already begun to make a difference - processing times are getting faster, while denials and requests for evidence appear to be getting less.
"We've been very focused on listening, learning and responding," Mayorkas said. "The O and P visas were established by Congress with the understanding that the introduction into this country of talent from all over the world brings needed and desired diversity to our artistic and cultural landscape. We should adjudicate the petitions with that intention and spirit in mind."
Mayorkas has said he was determined to "get it right and get it fast." Luckily, at the law offices of Kate Raynor, that mantra continues to hold true.