EB1 Green Card Success an Australian Fashion Designer
Pursuing your Dreams can lead to EB1 Success –Melissa, an Australian designer always dreamed of pursuing her own label and designing and creating couture ensembles. Melissa’s hard work and determination led her all the way to creating her very own fashion line and thus the creation of an Alien of Extraordinary Ability began. After working for top designers and receiving international acclaim, Melissa realized that her achievements satisfied many of the EB1 Category Requirements. With her EB1 Green Card in hand, Melissa now looks forward to further expanding her fashion line and collaborating with other designers. As experienced EB1 Attorney’s, working with an extremely qualified and an motivated client was a dream. We wish Melissa the very best in her future endeavors.
Tell me about where you are from and a little bit about what you do.
I am from Sydney, Australia. I am a fashion designer and I have my own label. I create women’s couture and ready to wear gowns. I love experimenting with colour, movement and creating my own textiles for unique detailing. I have been working in the Fashion Industry for 14 years and my first job after graduating from the University of Technology in Sydney, and was as a designer for Roberto Cavalli in Florence, Italy.
How did you work your way up the ranks to reach your level and what were some of the challenges along the way.
My career as a Fashion Designer was kick started with my first couture collection which I had created for my University Graduation. It gained National press attention and was chosen for a World exhibition in Germany. I sent my portfolio to the Roberto Cavalli Headquarters in Florence asking for work experience and a week later received a call from Mr. Cavalli personally inviting me to work for him. I worked as a designer for the first line for 2 years and then decided to pursue my dreams of having my own label.
I always believed and trusted in my work and never compared or worried what others in my field were doing. I believe there is room for everyone’s talent in this world and the biggest challenge is to always stay true to yourself and your art.
Have you ever lived in the US before? If so, under what circumstances? If not, what aroused your interest in a move to the US?
I have never lived in the US before, but from the instant I first visited on a holiday in 2013 I wanted to move here.
I knew it was the place for me! The first day of my trip I said, ‘I want to live here’! I loved the creative energy and buzz in the air! I was wearing some of my own designs throughout my holiday and was constantly asked where my dress was from, it happened everywhere I went! This feedback was very inspiring from a business point of view as I saw the potential my designs could have all over the US! I was excited at the possibility of moving to the US to live, explore and set up my business and collaborate with many creatives in different fields!
How did you decide to pursue an EB1?
After intense research into all types of US Visa options, the EB1 Visa definitely stood out as the best possible Visa due to the direct EB1 Green Card process! This was golden to me! The freedom of not having to continually renew other kinds of visas or have certain restrictions was the most appealing and also that my husband would be able to work and live in the US meant we would be able to move forward with our lives and truly get set-up in the USA. There are great opportunities for both of us! We realized that through my work history I could fulfill at least 3 of the 10 categories for the EB1 so we knew it was worth a shot to put all of the effort and energy into the best possible Visa! Which has definitely been worth it!!
What was your experience with the EB1 petition process?
It was an interesting experience for me delving back into my past and finding relevant documents and evidence, there were so many details I had forgotten about. Although there were intense moments and hard work/time involved, I knew it would all be worth it in the end with an EB1 Approval. My motivation was always strong. The best part of the experience (besides getting approved) was formulating the full case about my work and career so far as it is now a great ‘book’ of my best achievements that I will always treasure and have to remember. I felt getting the EB1 Petition Approval was an achievement in itself for me and now I get to live and work in the USA!
What were some of the challenges you had to work on in the preparation of your case, for example evidence gathering?
The biggest challenge for me was the patience required and timing it took to gather letters from past employers for the critical role EB1 category. Especially my previous workplace in Italy! I had sent through to the Ingram team of EB1 Attorneys all of my other category documents promptly but the critical role section was truly relying on other people to put in the time and effort for me, which they did do willingly but often took longer than expected due to the fact that everyone in the industry is so busy and also company structures/employees had changed so much since I had worked there.
What kind of relationship did/do you have Chris and his team?
AMAZING!!!! From the very first phone call I instinctively knew they were the best team to work with! I had called many different US Immigration Lawyers when first starting the process and the Ingram team stood out as number one! The process was very important to us and I only wanted to work with the BEST! Throughout the entire process the whole team were consistently helpful, comforting, clear, thorough, precise, provided constant guidance and communication and overall professional and delightful to work with! I can’t stress enough how happy I am that I chose to go through this process with The Chris Ingram team as my EB1 Lawyers! I can’t wait to visit them and thank them in person when I move to the USA!
What were you doing when you found out you were approved? What was your immediate reaction? How did/will you celebrate?
I was actually at my computer uploading some press items to my website (still doing everything I could to have the best chance of approval)! It was after midnight in Sydney and I thought it was a good time to check my email as it would be morning in the USA, and there it was! An email from the Immigration office saying that my EB1 application had been APPROVED! It was so simple and after all the work and time involved in the process it was surreal to see the word ‘approved’ on the paper! I burst into tears as was overwhelmed with excitement, joy, relief and felt it was a great accomplishment! My husband and I had a celebration dinner and plan on having an EB1 Green Card party with all of our friends and family before we officially move to the USA!
What are you looking forward to most about moving to the US?
Following my dreams!!
All of the creative opportunities, collaborations and artistic/fashion projects I will be able to work on! I am looking forward to living in the heart of Hollywood amongst palm tree lined streets (which I love) and dream of creating and seeing my gowns on the Oscars red carpet! I am also looking forward to travelling all over the USA and being more central to everything. Absolutely can’t wait!!
What will you miss the most about your home country?
My family first of all especially my nieces and nephews! My amazing friends who I consider my family too! But lucky I’ve pitched to everyone that they will be able to come and visit and stay with us so we already have lots of visitors booked in! I will also miss the beautiful area on the Northern Beaches of Sydney where I grew up and currently live, and the ease and beauty of it all so close to home.
What advice would you give to any immigrant considering an EB1 or who is already in the process?
Stay positive! Believe in yourself and your work and the EB1 Green Card Process is definitely worth a shot as the benefits in the long run are fantastic! If you apply for another type of visa there will also be paperwork involved so you may as well use your time and energy gathering paper and documents for the best kind of visa! The EB1 Visa!
Select Your 3 EB1 Categories
Checkout these EB1 green card categories below. If you can satisfy three categories, then you may just qualify for your green card. Good luck.
US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
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