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.

Most Common O-1 Artist Based Forms and Their Associated Cost

  • Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker: This is the main petition form that must be filed by the employer or agent of the O-1 visa applicant. The filing fee for this form is $460.
  • Form I-797, Notice of Action: This form is used to notify the O-1 visa applicant of the decision on their petition.
  • Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application: This form is used to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, such as the O-1 visa. The filing fee for this form is $160.
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record: This form is used to track the arrival and departure of nonimmigrant visa holders, including O-1 visa holders

The cost of the O-1 visa application can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the applicant. However, the total cost is typically around $1,000, including the filing fees for the forms and the cost of the visa interview.


Form I-797

Form I-485

Form DS-160

  • Cost $0
  • Receipt Notice 4-6 weeks
  • Filed by the Applicant
  • Notice of Action
  • Cost $460
  • Fees in USD
  • Filed on behalf of Employer
  • Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker
  • Cost $160 - $190
  • Fees in USD
  • Filed by the Applicant
  • Proof of Financial Resources

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