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Playmate’s O-visa award raises eyebrows

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2012 | Employment Immigration

San Diego readers may have heard of the controversy surrounding the award of an O-1 visa to an unexpected person. That woman is now raising eyebrows around the country after being awarded an O-visa. which is normally reserved for those the U.S. government has deemed to possess “extraordinary ability.” However, many people disagree with the decision by the government because the woman in question happens to be a Playboy Playmate.

While her talents are certainly not considered by some to be on par with the award of a Nobel Prize, a prize which the government considers a potential qualification for the O-1 visa, the government has agreed that her accomplishments are enough to award her the visa. A California immigration lawyer argued that the woman’s online photo-sharing event, aptly dubbed “Frisky Friday,” became extremely popular across the United States and was enough to earn her the visa. The United States government agreed with him.

The O-visa has become the choice visa of entrepreneurs across the world seeking to live and work in the U.S. Many immigration lawyers believe the scarceness of immigration options for foreigners means any avenue that is open should be used. Now, the O-visa is gaining popularity in technology circles. However, because this type of visa is considered a “genius visa,” it has widely escaped political controversy. With its newfound popularity though, the visa stands a good chance of landing in political hot water.

While this visa is normally used by artists and entertainers in the public eye, they are now becoming more popular for business people and others involved in technology sectors who cannot use other visas to get into the country. While some may not normally think of a Playboy Playmate as performing actions that are “genius,” the government apparently disagrees and believed this particular woman had an “extraordinary ability,” thus awarding her the coveted visa. While San Diego residents may be scratching their heads over the O-visa award, it may be worth investigating as a legitimate means of entry to the United States for those that qualify.

Source:, “Should Playmate have received ‘genius’ visa?” Sarah Mcbride, June 29, 2012