actor visa

The Extraordinary Challenges of Obtaining an EB-1 Visa: The Case of Eyvar Fardy Arenas

Eyvar Fardy Arenas, a Colombian actor known for his roles on various Netflix series and other international platforms, recently found himself in a protracted legal battle with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This case sheds light on the intricacies and potential pitfalls of the immigration process, especially for those applying under the EB-1 visa category, which is reserved for individuals demonstrating extraordinary abilities in their respective fields.

Arenas’ troubles began when his initial petition for an EB-1 visa, which acknowledges individuals of extraordinary ability, was denied by USCIS. The denial cited numerous reasons including grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and incomplete sentences in his application, indicating a careless review process. Additionally, the evidence provided by Arenas was allegedly overlooked or misunderstood, leading to a first and subsequent second denial of his application. These denials occurred despite the submission of over 400 pages of supporting documents, such as expert testimonials, major media publications, tax documents, and various awards highlighting his distinguished career.

In one glaring error, USCIS mistakenly linked Arenas to a production in a different country and language, further complicating his claim. Moreover, the agency disregarded Arenas' documented involvement in a Colombian stage play of "El Principito" ("The Little Prince"), misidentifying it as a French cartoon on IMDb, which starkly contrasts the evidence Arenas provided.

This ongoing dispute prompted Arenas to take legal action, leading to a lawsuit filed in Florida federal court against USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security. The suit claims that the visa denials were arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not under the law.

The legal challenge underscores the broader issues within USCIS, including alleged mishandling of cases and a historically high backlog of immigration cases. Laura Arboleda, representing Arenas, argues that despite the backlog, USCIS has the authority and capability to correct errors and approve deserving applications. She highlights that these unnecessary delays not only hinder the careers of individuals like Arenas but also cause significant resource expenditure for all parties involved.

Arenas' case is particularly instructive for potential immigrants who may not fully appreciate the level of detail and precision required in USCIS proceedings. It also emphasizes the importance of meticulous documentation and preparation in immigration petitions, particularly for those under the EB-1 category.

This case is not just about one actor’s struggle to navigate the U.S. immigration system but also serves as a cautionary tale for other foreign nationals of extraordinary ability seeking to make the U.S. their home. The challenges faced by Arenas illustrate the need for potential applicants to secure knowledgeable and experienced legal representation when dealing with complex immigration issues.

For those considering an application for an EB-1 visa or any form of U.S. immigration, understanding the potential for arbitrary decisions and preparing for a thorough documentation and review process is crucial. This is particularly true in a system that might often seem indifferent to the nuances of individual cases.

As this case progresses, it will be interesting to see how USCIS responds and whether any adjustments will be made to address the concerns raised by Arenas and his legal team. The outcome may have significant implications for how extraordinary ability visa applications are handled in the future.

For potential new clients seeking immigration services, it's essential to choose an immigration attorney with extensive experience and a deep understanding of the law. An experienced attorney can provide the necessary guidance and advocacy, particularly for those who, like Arenas, have faced significant challenges in their immigration journey.

In conclusion, the saga of Eyvar Fardy Arenas is a compelling example of the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and the critical importance of precision in legal documentation and representation. His ongoing fight for recognition of his extraordinary abilities highlights the challenges faced by many talented individuals around the world who seek to bring their skills and abilities to the United States.


"Colombian Actor Says His Visa Denials Are Full of Mistakes" by Rae Ann Varona, Law360, published on April 24, 2024.

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