Wildes & Weinberg Continues to be the Premier Choice for Immigration Needs

NEW YORK, NY— April  24, 2014

Wildes & Weinberg is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Michael Wildes has secured an O-1 visa extension for Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, better known to millions as soccer icon Pelé.  This extension follows the O-1 visa which was successfully obtained for Pele in 2011 on behalf of the New York Cosmos and will allow Pele to continue to fill his role as the Cosmo’s Consultant and Honorary President. As an “Alien of Extraordinary Ability,” Pele will be employed in a professional capacity directly related to his area of expertise and sustained international acclaim in the field of athletics.  U.S. immigration regulations require that certain athletes who desire to work or play for a professional sports team for an extended period of time obtain O or P visas.

During his magnificent playing career, Pelé led Brazil to three FIFA World Cup championships, scored over 1,200 goals, and helped catapult the sport of soccer and the New York Cosmos to new heights in the United States, where Pelé and the Cosmos drew record crowds and boosted the sport’s popularity.  Often called “The King of Football,” Pelé played for the New York Cosmos until his retirement in 1977. Since retiring as a player he has won several lifetime achievement awards, worked with numerous charities, and served as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.

With Pele’s help, in 2011, the Cosmos re-established a team in Major League Soccer, acquired a home field at James M. Shuart Stadium, formerly known as Hofstra Stadium, in Hempstead, New York, and have continued to create partnerships abroad with soccer institutions of worldwide renown. 

June 4, 2013, Wildes & Weinberg, P.C., Managing Partner, Michael Wildes and Pele, Brazilian Soccer Icon, witnessed the relaunch of the New York Cosmos as they signed a jersey sponsorship with Emirates Airlines

“I was thrilled to be able to deliver the news to Pele that Wildes & Weinberg, successfully obtained an approval of his O-1 visa extension, for the New York Cosmos,” says Michael Wildes, who has travelled the globe with Pelé and team ownership as the Cosmos unveiled their plans to revitalize the legendary soccer team. “Throughout his career he has served both the United States and the world by elevating the sport of soccer.  He truly was an incredible player and a global ambassador of the beautiful game to millions.  I am excited for him that he is able to continue with this next chapter of his life.”



Michael Wildes accompanied New York Cosmos Honorary Chairman Pele as he travelled globally to promote the newly formed New York Cosmos, LLC

Though often difficult to obtain for many athletes, the attainment of an O-1 visa extension for Pelé represents yet another success for Michael Wildes.  He and his firm have served as immigration counsel to an esteemed roster of renowned clientele in professional sports including Greg Norman, Virginia Wade, Billy Smith, and Al Arbour, all in their efforts to pursue careers in the United States.  Michael Wildes also assisted in securing U.S. citizenship for former professional basketball player Kwame James, who subdued the would-be “shoebomber” Richard Reid on a trans-Atlantic flight.

Founded in 1960, Wildes & Weinberg P.C. is the premier law firm in the United States concentrating exclusively on the immigration and nationality field.  The firm grew out of the practice of the father of Michael Wildes, Leon Wildes, Esq., a distinguished immigration practitioner in New York City who represented former Beatle John Lennon and his artist wife Yoko Ono  in deportation proceedings. Its original clientele consisted of individuals, rather than corporations, who had been placed in deportation or exclusion proceedings or were otherwise in jeopardy.  The practice expanded steadily as word of its outstanding achievements in individual cases spread in the international community attracting clients from around the world.  Today the firm continues this illustrious tradition with a staff over 40 individuals, all experts in the field of U.S. immigration and nationality law, in its New York City, Englewood, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida offices.  Other notable clients of the firm include song-writer Chris Braide, Joe Cocker, Johnny Rotten, Paloma Picasso, the 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 Miss Universes, supermodel Giselle Bundchen and Sarah Brightman, the world’s bestselling female classical artist of the twenty-first century. The firm is known for its prompt and efficient service.  Despite its steady growth over the past 54 years, the hallmark of the law practice remains the individualized attention to its clients' needs.

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