O-1 Visa and EB-1 Green Card for Artists and Entertainers

The O-1 visa and EB-1 green card are for people who can demonstrate “extraordinary ability” in their area of expertise. Here are the top five questions for artists or entertainers to answer when trying to qualify for the O-1 nonimmigrant visa or EB-1 green card.

1. What do you do best in the field?

Having a specific niche in your field helps make a compelling case for getting an O-1 visa or EB-1 green card. Having participated in cultural or artistic projects is unlikely to be sufficient. Show that you are not just an artist or entertainer, but one who is specifically known for excellence in some area.

2. How have you been recognized in the field?

As an artist or entertainer, you should be able to point to public recognition of your professional status, such as an IMDB listing or other documents to validate your career achievements.

3. Can I work for my own company or consult outside my position in the entertainment industry?

Yes. The O-1 visa allows for an “agent-based” petition, which lets agents create a corporation to serve multiple clients. 

4. Are letters from important people enough evidence?

When inheriting immigration cases, we often see cases based on referral letters alone, but these do not provide sufficient evidence of an artist’s or entertainer’s status and achievement.

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