In January of 2020, a divided Supreme Court allowed US officials to implement the so-called “public charge” rule. The rule, which was unveiled in August of 2019, is expected to result in serious restrictions on immigration. It expands the definition of an individual who is or could be an economic burden on the United States.
The public charge rule gives immigration officials more power to deny visa and green card applications from immigrants who, in the opinion of the United States government, rely or could potentially rely on certain government-offered benefits. Similar rules were previously in place, but the new rule focuses more on cash benefits. Immigration caseworkers can now consider an immigrant’s enrollment in a wide range of federally funded programs in areas such as healthcare and nutrition. Critics argue that the public charge rule will drastically limit the immigration possibilities for numerous foreign nationals from developing countries. However, not all categories of prospective immigrants will be affected.
The O visa remains a safe option for those individuals who demonstrate extraordinary abilities and skills that could benefit US companies and the economy. O visas are important as there is a large gap between human resources and job openings in the tech industry. The O visa is a dual intent visa, and it can apply to experts in an array of different fields. It can also apply to high-level professionals, as well as athletes and artists. To be eligible for an O visa, an individual must meet three of the eight required criteria. The O visa is considered much more valuable than an H-1B visa, and individuals whose H-1B visas have expired can apply for an O visa.
As of now, the O visa is not subject to the extremely harsh policies that apply to international students and other specialized employees. The policies regarding the O visa remain untouched, and the visa will continue to have no annual cap. According to USCIS data, the approval rate for O visas was higher in 2018, and 2019 was much higher than the approval rate for other visa types.
If you are considering applying for an O visa, you may want an experienced immigration attorney on your side. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.