Fashion and Immigration

Something for the weekend.

Saks Fifth Avenue and Oscar de la Renta are among the fashion industry players who are joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s coalition for immigration reform and calling for an easier visa process for international workers.

Bloomberg made the announcement Friday, the day after the close of the fall previews at New York Fashion Week. Brooks Brothers, Perry Ellis, Diane von Furstenberg and Malia Mills are also joining the group, which already claims as members chief executives of major corporations including Hewlett-Packard, Disney and News Corp.

The Partnership for a New American Economy pushes for a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants and wants to make it easier for companies to hire foreign students and attract overseas talent.

Next Model Management owner Faith Kates is joining the group and says photo shoots in New York are often cancelled or delayed because of visa problems.

Fashion models of may obtain a Professional Work Visa. Fashion models do not need to meet the definition of “specialty occupations”. The alien must show evidence that she is coming to the United States to perform services which require a fashion model of prominence. The employer must pay the fashion model at least the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment.

A model must have an employer in the U.S. prior to working in the U.S. Frelance work is not an option.

Documentation of at least two of the following:
Received reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines etc. Performed services as a fashion model for employers of distinguished reputation Received recognititon for achievements from organizaitons, critics, fashion houses or modeling agencies Commands a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services evidenced by contracts
Fashion models of “distinguished merit and ability” may be admitted to the U.S. for the period of time required by the employer, up to a maximum initial period of stay of three years. Extensions of stay, up to a maximum of three additional years, are permissible, for a total period of admission of six years.