Kristina Pimenova, age 10, is a supermodel in the making, and almost certainly the youngest person to obtain a United States’ O-1 work visa for extraordinary ability in modeling. With a modeling career that began at age 3 she is a veteran model. Kristina’s resume is studded with international modeling campaigns for industry juggernauts: Armani Junior, Fendi, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Benetton, Roberto Cavalli, Blumarine, Vogue, Elle, and more. Her precocious talent and stunning features have won her international fame as “the most beautiful girl in the world,” as well as millions of Facebook and Instagram followers. Unsurprisingly, she recently signed a coveted contract with elite modeling agencies, L.A. Models and New York Models Management. This high-profile representation promises to propel Kristina’s career to even new heights.
Our firm, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, was tasked with cementing this landmark career opportunity for Kristina by landing her an O-1 work visa for extraordinary ability in modeling. While Kristina’s story contains all the trappings of a Gisele Bundchen or Kate Moss in the making, obtaining the O-1 visa was not without challenge. Firstly, O-1 candidates must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim in their field. Our firm successfully argued that Kristina, at the mere age of 10, had already cultivated 7 years of modeling experience with some of the world’s most prestigious companies, designers, magazines, and photographers. USCIS’s acceptance of this argument indicates its willingness to take seriously the professional careers of even young children in relevant industries such as modeling and acting.
Secondly, we were successful in obtaining an O-2 essential support work visa for Kristina’s mother and manager, Glikeriya Pimenova, herself a former model. Normally dependent visas are granted to family of an extraordinary person but in Kristina’s case, this relationship was reversed. Here Kristina is the lead, and the mother stood as the essential support.
While U.S. immigration law may be broken, Kristina’s case shows the U.S. government has a broad and positive view and is willing to grant U.S. work authorization to foreign children with exceptional qualifications. While in the U.S. she must comply with strict child labor rules but for a star like Kristina, the door is now open for her to reach new heights and new opportunities. She has redefined the term “fresh new face” in the modeling world!