When it comes to bashing, I make a concerted effort to ". . . not say anything at all." So I will simply say that we had a negative experience with our first immigration attorney, based here in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Then we took a recommendation of an attorney based out of Santa Monica, California. Alexander Dgebuadze and his assistant Colleen Croal at Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group have impressed me already.
Alex spent about an hour on the phone with me yesterday morning--at no charge and without any retainer--simply explaining what our options realistically are. Alex agreed that the J-1 visa isn't much of an option for us.
He also pointed out that since Rick would not be able to complete his degree before applying for an H-1 visa in the spring, we would still be arguing the equivalency of his education and experience to a U.S. Bachelor's degree. With that understanding, the classes in which Rick is enrolled shouldn't be pursued solely for that purpose. (I like school--crazy, I know--so I would stay in the classes anyway; Rick probably won't. He's not too excited about being in classes where his skill level has already surpassed the curriculum, and ironically has a friend and former co-worker as a professor.)
Fortunately, Alex thinks Rick is a good candidate for the O-1 visa, given his long list of international awards and recognitions. Our next step is to compile verification of the awards and letters of recommendation. I hope we can have this done by November. Alex has forewarned me that it might take longer than I expect. The nice part about the O-1 (as I mentioned in a previous post) is that applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Once approved, and after Rick meets with a representative of the consulate, it will be effective immediately.
Power of Positivity: I'm sure this will work out wonderfully!