How Do Celebrity Artists Get Visas To Work In The United States?

Published: 12/01/2021

Source: Forbes

The O-1 visa is for persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Of particular interest for our purposes here, are the immigration requirements for celebrities who want to work in the U.S. as artists. Here is a brief tutorial of what is required by U.S. immigration law.

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What is the best U.S. work visa for celebrities working in the arts?
In the case of groups, the P visa category is used. Rock bands like the Rolling Stones for example, might apply under the P-1 category, while individual musicians going on a tour might resort to the P-2 visa. However, the O-1 B work visa is the best visa for celebrities who want to live and work in the arts in the United States.

What are the requirements to get an O-1 B work visa?
The applicant must demonstrate he or she has enjoyed sustained national or international acclaim, or show a record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry.

Who can petition for an O-1 work visa?
O-1 work visa applicants cannot petition for themselves as self-employed applicants. Only U.S.-based employers, agents, managers, sponsors, presenters, and organizers may file O-1 visa petitions. The principal obligation that these individuals or entities assume in so doing is representing to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), under oath, that the contents of the petition are true to the best of their knowledge.

What exactly must you submit to prove eligibility for an O-1 work visa?
To qualify for this work visa, the applicant working in the arts must show distinction, that is to say, a high level of achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. Put another way, the applicant should be renowned, leading or well known in his or her field. This could involve being nominated for, or receiving a significant international or national award or prize, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award. Alternatively, the applicant can try to document at least three of the following: 1. Being a lead in a production having a a distinguished reputation; 2. Getting critical reviews in major newspapers or trade journals; 3. Leading an organization that has a distinguished reputation; 4. Having a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes; 5. Showing significant recognition from organizatioins, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field, or 6. Commanding a high salary. Comparable evidence can also be employed to prove qualification under this category, except for applicants in motion pictures or television.

Source: Forbes
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