WHAT IS THE O-1 VISA?
It is a non-immigrant visa for people who possess extraordinary ability in
the sciences, arts, education, business or sports, or who have demonstrated
extraordinary achievements in the film or television industry with national or international recognition.
The specific visa for artists is the O-1B and has significant benefits in respect of
of other types of work visas.
What are the characteristics and advantages?
This visa has the advantage that it allows the spouse and unmarried children under
21 years of the artist get the same visa, known as O-3. While they will not be able to
work, they can study.
In addition, an assistant to the artist who is essential to the project may be granted
the visa as well. The assistant must have skills and experience that cannot
be found in an American worker.
The visa is granted for a maximum of 3 years. Subsequently, USCIS (United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services) may grant 1-year extensions at a time,
as long as the art project continues and requires more time.
Furthermore, the O-1B visa has the advantage over other work visas that it does not have a
the annual limit on the number of visas that can be granted.
While the O-1B visa is in the “non-immigrant” category, once you have obtained t it is much easier to get
the EB-1 visa.
What are the criteria for obtaining it?
The artist must demonstrate extraordinary ability as evidenced by national or international
acclaim and with the intention of temporarily migrating to the
United to work in their area of extraordinary ability.
Extraordinary ability is understood as a level of expertise only found in a small percentage of artists.
The artist must demonstrate distinction, in the sense of a level of recognition evidenced by skills
significantly higher than the average artist.
What evidence do I need?
A letter written by a group, association or union of artists should be obtained
(such as a stakeholder association) or a person with expertise in the skill area
of the artist. If there is no such association, the artist must prove it. It is
recommended to file the original versions – if possible with letterheads, brands
of the documents so that there is no doubt as to their
authenticity and thus avoid delays.
The artist must have a concrete offer of work before applying and have an
American agent. The agent may be the artist’s direct employer, representative
of the employer, and the artist or a person or entity authorized by the employer to
act as an agent.
The contract between the employer and the artist must also be filed. This contract may be
written or oral, in which case evidence must be provided to show it (e-
mails, chats, etc.).
In addition, an itinerary should be presented explaining the nature of the events or
activities with start and end dates. Ex: the itinerary of a tour or series of
Evidence must also be provided that the artist has won or was nominated
for a recognized national or international award such as an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy,
or Director’s Guild Award or, if not, evidence of at least 3 of the following
1. Performed and will perform services as a principal participant or protagonist in productions or events that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, or contracts.
2. Obtained national or international recognition for achievements as evidenced by reviews or other materials published by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, magazines, or other publications.
3. Has performed and will perform a leading, leading, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as demonstrated by articles in newspapers, specialized magazines, publications, or testimonials.
4. A record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as demonstrated by such indicators as title, rating, or position in the artistic field, box office receipts, film or television ratings, and other achievements reported in specialized magazines, major newspapers, or other publications.
5. Received significant recognition for his or her achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the recipient is involved, and the testimonials clearly indicate the author’s authority, experience, and knowledge of the recipient’s achievements.
6. A high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as demonstrated by contracts or other evidence.
Other relevant evidence may also be accepted.
If you are interested in learning more about this visa or other ways to live in the U.S., contact us at +1 (213) 278-4073 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your consultation.
This website and its blog constitute advertising for lawyers. Do not consider anything on this website or blog as legal advice and nothing on this website constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Reserve a consultation with us before acting using any information you read here. Past results are not guarantees of future results and past results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.