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Showcase Series: O-1 Visa for Gastrointestinal Scientist

This article marks the first installment of our new Showcase Series, which will overview successful cases filed by t Ms. Sweta Khandelwal, the principal attorney at the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal. This Showcase will be for a scientist who successfully received an O-1 visa, which is a nonimmigrant visa for individuals who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

The scientist in this case was one of the founders of a company that specialized in developing products to identify gastrointestinal ("GI") tract disorders. The product at issue was a special patch used to diagnose abdominal and gastrointestinal issues. The company was a team of over twenty Ph.D. scientists, doctors, engineers, intellectual property professionals, business consultants, finance specialists, and clinical researchers.

The O-1 scientist himself held an impressive resume that established his credentials as a person of "extraordinary ability. First, he authorized more than half a dozen original scholarly articles published in national and international journals with a plethora of citations. His research was the foundation for further research used in treatment centers, hospitals, and other institutions in places like Holland, Canada, Japan, Korea, China, New Zealand, and Brazil. As an example of his renowned fame, in just four weeks one of his papers was viewed over 300 times. His works were relied upon by almost a hundred people all over the world.

Furthermore, the O-1 scientist had developed the underlying research for the basis of the Petitioner company's product. It was imperative that he join the team to further develop this product to meet investor expectations, project development deadlines, and market windows.

The O-1 scientist was also part of various organizations outside of his direct employment. As a member of a distinguished panel where he was one of the few, if not only, representatives of the medical device industry, he was part of a group that was important in the context of the Affordable Health Care Act. He was also part of many other selective organizations that were nationally or internationally recognized.

The support letter alone, which summarily connects all of the evidence with each of the legal requirements for an O-1 visa, was by itself over 20 pages. It required collaboration from heads of the Petitioner company, including its CEO, O-1 scientist, and five leading experts in the field who wrote letters of recommendation for the O-1 visa scientist. This collaborative effort resulted in the approval of the visa petition and the scientist is now able to work on the company's products over the next three years. It is significant to note that the without the O-1 visa, the Scientist would have had no other way to work in the US. His fact situation precluded him from obtaining any other work visa.

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