Updated: Apr 27, 2022
Paulo Sebess considers himself an “accidental” Brazilian. He was born in Brazil in the 1980s, when his Argentinean parents preferred to live in Brazil at a time when Argentina was experiencing a delicate political moment. “When I was four years old, we returned to Buenos Aires, where I have lived ever since”, he says. Paulo is now preparing for a new change in his life: he, his wife (Carina) and their two children (Alexander and Nicolas) are about to move to the United States. The Sebess family have won their green card and are just waiting for the last protocol interview with the American authorities before traveling north.
Although the destination is still uncertain, probably Florida, Sebess is happy. He and his wife decided to try a new life outside Argentina because, in his opinion, the country's culture does not privilege the entrepreneurial spirit. He currently works at the Master Chef culinary school, a family business (sisters), but since the beginning of the pandemic (and the lockdown), the school is operating only online. It wasn't an easy transition. “Beyond that, it seems that working hard and creating value here is a problem and not a solution,” he says.
Through a Brazilian brother-in-law (married to one of his sisters), Paulo met the lawyer Francisco Wykrota, from the Wykrota Law Firm, based in Miami. He made a first contact and liked the guidance and advice he received. He decided to hire the office to handle his application to request an immigrant working visa tp the United States, a country he chose because he likes the liberal spirit of the economy and the people, “not as rigid as the Europeans” that he knows well.
Of Hungarian descent, Paulo graduated from one of the most respected culinary schools in the world, the Institut Paul Bocuse, in Lyon, France. “I already had knowledge acquired at my parents' school, but when I decided to pursue a career as a chef, I left for France with my parent's encouragement,” he says. “I later worked at Bocuse's own restaurant and then at Alain Ducasse's, in the Principality of Monaco”, he remembers.
Paulo does everything in a restaurant. Not only knows how to cook, but also understands administration, accounting and other areas of this business that require very specific knowledge. However, what he really likes is working with food. “I know how to bake, cook, make sweets, everything, but what I really like is making bread, because it looks easy, but it's really a fine art”, he says.
These credentials gave Paulo the possibility to apply for an American EB (Employment Based) visa. The process took about a year until the EB1 petition was approved, about a month ago. “The service at the Wykrota office was very reassuring throughout the whole process,” says Paulo. “Recently, when we were expecting to receive the final approval, another request for additional papers came in and I didn't think it was going to come out anymore, but to our happiness, now it's a reality”, he says.
Paulo loves Buenos Aires (“A wonderful city”, in his own words), but he is convinced to move. Many of his friends have already left Argentina, many of them to the United States, and he is now looking to build a new life there. He believes that his children, aged six and four, will be able to have a good experience of life in the new country. “We are a young family, and we have a new path ahead of us”, he envisions.