Shera Bechard, the Canadian-born former girlfriend of Playboy Enterprises founder Hugh Hefner, and famous for starting online “Frisky Friday” on Twitter where young women from all over the world share scantily-clad pictures of themselves on Fridays, has received Visa as an “individual of extraordinary ability.”
The O-1 visa is generally understood to attract geniuses and is commonly referred to as the “genius visa.” However, the U.S. immigration department has agreed after initial hiccups that Bechard’s awards of Playboy Miss November, 2010, and skills in promoting “Frisky Friday,” are at par with “internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize” cited by the government as possible qualification for the genius visa.
There is no doubt that Shera is an “individual with extraordinary ability” and as argued by Los Angeles immigration lawyer Chris Wright, who also represented Shera, “There’s nothing in those regulations that requires you to be a genius.” Immigration officials “want to give to someone who shows business skills” said Berchard. She also mentioned her qualifications like her acting as a mute Russian in a 2009 movie, significantly named “Sweet Karma.” The movie had won her a best actress award at the cult Fantastic Film Festival in Texas.
According to her lawyer Chris Wright, quality rather than longevity is the key and USCIS rules require that the “extraordinary ability” be demonstrated by “sustained national or international acclaim.” Wright says any of his clients can prove that with awards and testaments.