An O-1 visa was approved for a musician client of our who is originally from England, and now resides in Huntington Beach. We filed the I-129 and O-1 packet with USCIS in August and utilized premium processing. We received an approval within two weeks, and scheduled the visa application interview in England shortly thereafter.
Prior to filing the visa petition with USCIS, we obtained a no objection letter from the American Guild of Musical Artists in New York.
For O-1 visas, the alien may not self-petition. A US employer or agent must file the petition. If the beneficiary alien will work concurrently for more than one employer during the same time period, each employer must file a separate petition with the service center having jurisdiction over the area where the alien will perform services, unless an established agent files the petition. If the O-1 changes employers, the new employer must file a petition with the service center having jurisdiction over the new place of employment. In this case, our client had his US booking agent sign the Form I-129 petition. The regulations specify required documentation when an agent acts as the petitioner for the O-1. With musicians and other performers, it is common to have the US agent act as the petitioner, because they arrange the short-term employment for the artist.
In order to obtain an O-1 approval, we must provide USCIS with evidence that the musician possesses sustained national or international acclaim and recognition in his or her particular field and that the alien is coming to work in that field. Generally, USCIS wants to see major awards given to the beneficiary, significant critical acclaim, good reviews, recommendations from experts and colleagues in the field, record of high salary, and other evidence that shows the alien’s ability is extraordinary. USCIS wants to see that the alien has sustained international and national acclaim and a demonstrated record of high level accomplishment, achievement or distinction.
The maximum time period for an approved O-1 is three years, and we received the full three years in this case. The beneficiary is permitted to enter the US up to 10 days before the validity period begins. One year extensions are available as well.
Once the case is approved by USCIS, it is forwarded to the appropriate consulate for processing. In this case, London. The client attended the consular interview in London and everything went smoothly. He plans to start performing in the US later this month.
If you are considering an O-1 petition, contact The Nunez Firm. We have helped musicians, dancers and other artists obtain O-1 visas, and we can assess whether the O-1 petition is a viable option for you. Managing attorney Jay Nunez has a well deserved reputation for helping his clients achieve their immigration goals.