SCANDEBERGS CASE STUDY
Obtain O-1B visas for Italian creative duo, Scandebergs.
O-1B visas granted for both artists, including a successful expedite at the US Embassy in London.
In September 2019 I had the pleasure of hosting a series of seminars on the O-1B visa in London. It was there that I met Scandebergs, the Italian creative duo of Alberto Albanese and Stefano Colombini.
It is difficult to reduce Scandebergs’ work to a single medium, rather, it is at the intersection of Fashion, Art and Photography. They have shot commercial campaigns for the world’s most renowned brands, including Prada, Gucci, Chanel, Nike and Versace. They have profiled world-renowned artists like Marina Abramovic. Their work has been exhibited in art galleries as well as on the cover of Vogue and Time Magazine, and they have been honored by British Fashion Council as one of the most innovative young creatives in the world.
It was clear within minutes of our meeting that the duo was highly qualified for the O-1B. The focus, then, turned to implementing the proper strategy to obtain the visa and allow the pair to work freely in the United States.
The O-1B visa carries a maximum validity of 3 years, with unlimited renewals. However, in order to secure the 3 year term an applicant must show 3 years worth of work at the time of filing. For many creative professionals it is often challenging to contemplate and secure work so far in advance. In the case of Scandebergs much of our initial strategy involved consulting the duo on best practices in obtaining longer term employment agreements. Also, given the caliber of their employers, there was an emphasis on effectively communicating, and remaining in compliance with, the intricacies of USCIS regulations.
When we met in September 2019, Scandebergs were in no particular rush to enter the US. They were very busy working with clients in Europe and expected to enter the US on their O-1B visas within 6 months or so. Along the way, COVID struck and our case processing was temporarily put on hold. By summer 2020, the pair were finally ready to file. They opted for regular processing (vs premium processing). Alberto’s case was approved by USCIS within 5 weeks and Stefano’s within 8 weeks.
Typically, once a client abroad obtains O-1 approval from USCIS, they then attend an interview at a US consulate or embassy to obtain a visa. However, with the pandemic came travel bans and closures of US embassies and consulates worldwide. When they finally reopened there were severe backlogs, causing massive delays. Alberto and Stefano were caught in the middle of this gridlock and even had an appointment canceled by the embassy. When they were subsequently approached by a client to shoot a high profile job on short notice, we assisted them in expediting their visa appointment. We were successful and Scandebergs received their O-1 visas at the US Embassy in London.
The duo continue to put out amazing work in both Europe and the US. You can see their creations at scandebergs.com and on IG @scandebergs.