Do you have gaps in your itinerary for your O and P clients?


Gaps in a Beneficiary’s itinerary are sometimes unavoidable. Whether it is due to impending filing dates, the Beneficiary’s lack of future employment, or because the Beneficiary will also be working in her/his native country, gaps in the itinerary can be overcome.

As per PM-602-0003 , entitled Clarifying Guidance on “O” Petition Validity Period Revisions to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 33.4(e)(2) AFM Update AD10-36, there is no statutory or regulatory authority for the proposition that a gap of a certain number of days in an itinerary automatically indicates a new event.

Additionally, the memo affirms that there is a clear indication in the regulations that a petition may be approved to cover not only the actual event or events but also services and/or activities in connection with that event or events. This language is key to supporting the flexibility of an itinerary.

Practitioners have had minimal issues with gaps under four months or so, as long as the gaps are explained on the itinerary with information about non-US activities that are "incidental and /or related" to the US work. Therefore, if there are gaps in the itinerary for US-based work, then the itinerary can be supplemented with non-US based work as long as there is an explained link between the two.

Although the memo pertains only to O petitions, it can also be argued that it should also apply in the P context, since the applicable provisions regarding itineraries are identical for Os and Ps.

If the Beneficiary is filing for an O-1 or a P visa, and she/he has gaps in her/his itinerary for US based work, then non-US based work that is connected to the US work can be included to strengthen the itinerary.

However, a good rule of thumb is “the longer the gap, the higher the risk.”

About The Author

Elektra is the founder and principal attorney at The Law Office of Elektra B. Yao a full service, comprehensive immigration and general practice law firm. Ms. Yao is admitted to the New York Bar and she practices U.S. Immigration and Nationality law and Deportation Defense in all jurisdictions of the United States of America. Ms. Yao earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC in 2008 and earned her Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark Law School, a nationally ranked, top-tier law school in 2011. In 2010, she studied in London under Loukas Mistelis, the Professor and Director of the School of Arbitration at the prestigious UK law school Queen Mary University. Ms. Yao also studied at the University of Beijing Law School, the leading Chinese law school, where she earned a Certificate in Chinese business and civil law; along with studying at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, France and in Florence, Italy where she earned Certificates in Comparative Law. Ms. Yao was also invited to study Eastern European Law at Eotvos Lorand University, the best law school in Hungary. She has also completed all of the coursework for a Master’s in Law in European and Spanish Law from the University of Salamanca. She holds multiple Certificates in Italian and European Immigration Law and Policy. Ms. Yao spent several years working for leading boutique immigration law firms where she developed her expertise in employment based and family based immigration law. Ms. Yao is highly experienced and proficient in US and EU Immigration Law and Policy. As such, Ms. Yao has provided her immigration legal services to businesses and individuals in the US, Italy, Spain, and Cote d’Ivoire. Ms. Yao has lived, studied, and worked internationally in the US, the EU, and Africa and she is fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, and English.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.