How to Qualify & Apply for an O-1 Visa for an artist

Applying for an O-1 visa can be complicated but it’s not impossible. There are a number of steps involved and there is a lot of documentation that has to be assembled in order to qualify for the visa.

O-1 visas are for people who stand out!

An applicant must file a petition form for nonimmigrant worker with the USCIS office in no more than one year before, but at least 45 days prior to, the actual performance or the need for a foreign national to render a service.

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the recipient must prove extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics sustained by national and international acclaim, and should come temporarily to the United States to continue working in the area of your extraordinary ability.

Have extraordinary ability in the arts means having distinction, this refers to having achieved a higher degree of skill, above the ordinary, having achieved a prominent recognition and be famous, prominent or well-known in the field of arts.

To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field.

How to prove a distinction in the arts?

A potential O-1 artist must provide evidence that they are recognized as being prominent in their field, either by showing that they have been nominated or have received a significant national or international award or prize, or with evidence that they meet at least 3 of the following:

Has performed or will perform services as a lead or starring participant in a production or event that has a distinguished reputation as shown by critical reviews, ads, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;

Has received national or international recognition for achievements through critical reviews via published materials by or about the foriegn national in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, websites, etc.;

Has performed in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by media articles, testimonials, letters of recommendation, website reviews, and other similar items;

Has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed success;

Has achieved significant recognition from organizations, critics, government agencies, recognized experts; or

Has commanded or will command a high salary or other compensation.