The coalminer’s daughter. The bartender. The police brutality activist. The grieving mother. Each looked at the man representing her in Congress and said, “I can do better.”
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.
In 2010, Anisha Dadia came to New York from the U.K. to pursue a career in acting. After graduating from a two-year conservatory program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she wanted to stay in the city. Juggling student film auditions and babysitting gigs, Dadia kept working on her acting portfolio so she could apply for an O-1, which would allow her to extend her stay in the United States until 2015.
The visa requirements have come under fire from business leaders and immigration lawyers in recent years for being vague, subjective, and forever changing, depending on who happens to be making decisions at USCIS at any given time. But for people who dream of calling New York and the United States home, the visas, and the bureaucratic pain still associated with them, are often their only hope.
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“Who would look after him if I wasn’t here?” and other questions this mom asks herself every day.
Get up close and personal with the athletes of the reemerging ancient pastime of mallakamb, in Narratively’s first 360 film.
Once a year, residents of this mountainous island gather at two churches on opposite ends of town and launch 100,000 handmade rockets — directly at each other.
When Dee came out as a transgender, it meant the end of her marriage to Penny. And that’s when the empowering journey for both women truly began.
As Chinese investment turns this mineral-rich region into a cash cow, does the Southern Mongolian culture have any hope of survival? A few families are willing to fight for it.
We humans are far more complex than the news headlines and clickbait would have you believe. Let the Narratively newsletter be your guide.