Our firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, was tasked with cementing this landmark career opportunity for Kristina by landing her an O-1 work visa for extraordinary ability in modeling. While Kristina’s story contains all the trappings of a Gisele Bundchen or Kate Moss in the making, obtaining the O-1 visa was not without challenge. Firstly, O-1 candidates must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in their field. Our firm successfully argued that Kristina, at the mere age of 10, had already cultivated 7 years of modeling experience with some of the world’s most prestigious companies, designers, magazines, and photographers. USCIS’s acceptance of this argument indicates its willingness to take seriously the professional careers of even young children in relevant industries such as modeling and acting.
Secondly, we were successful in obtaining an O-2 essential support work visa for Kristina’s mother and manager, Glikeriya Pimenova, herself a former model. Normally dependent visas are granted to family of an extraordinary person but in Kristina’s case, this relationship was reversed. Here Kristina is the lead, and the mother stood as the essential support.
While U.S. immigration law may be broken, Kristina’s case shows the U.S. government has a broad and positive view and is willing to grant U.S. work authorization to foreign children with exceptional qualifications. While in the U.S. she must comply with strict child labor rules but for a star like Kristina, the door is now open for her to reach new heights and new opportunities. She has redefined the term “fresh new face” in the modeling world!