The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing a rule to amend regulations so that O and P nonimmigrant applicants can petition up to one year before they need services from the USCIS. This extension of time will enable USCIS to adjudicate these petitions in a more timely fashion. Further, petitions can be approved prior to the date when services are needed which, in the case of O and P petitioners, is determined by scheduled events, competitions or performances.
O and P visa petitioners are individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, and also members of athletic teams, entertainment groups, and other entertainers. Currently, the rules state that these petitioners can not file a petition more than 6 months before the need for alien services. However, these regulations can create hard situations for petitioners wishing to schedule events and performances. This proposed rule will alleviate that hardship.