These are the most Frequently Asked Questions for the EB1 – EA and O-1 visas. We have detailed answers in our guides. We hope this information assists you on your visa journey.
There is one question however that is ultimately ALWAYS asked and it deserves its very own page…
What is Extraordinary Ability?
I am a filmmaker and met an actor I wish to hire on an O-1 visa, can I?
Yes. You should check their visa in their passport and it should say O-1. Also check the expiry date. You can ask to check their approval form I-797 to ensure their sponsor will allow film work.
What is the EB-1 Artist Green Card?
A Green Card holder (permanent resident) is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the US on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a person is granted a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card.” You can become a permanent resident several different ways. Most individuals are sponsored by a family member or employer in the United States. Other individuals may become permanent residents because of their extraordinary ability, in this case, you may be eligible to file for yourself.
What is the O-1 Artist Temporary Visa?
This US artist visa is known as the O-1B nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the arts, education, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements. It is a sponsor visa and can be valid for up to 3 years.
What is the O-1 Business Temporary Visa?
This US visa is known as the O-1B nonimmigrant visa is for the individual with an extraordinary ability in business, the sciences, education, or athletics who can demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim, indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor and is coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability. It is a sponsor visa and can be valid for up to 3 years. Click here to find out more.
I didn’t get the H1B are these good alternatives?
The H1B visa has become more and more difficult to obtain. Last year applicants had a 38% chance of their application being granted. There are plans to restrict spousal benefits. Failed renewals can end up in deportation. The O-1B and Eb-1s in business are visas that are certainly great options for you to explore. We can show you how to apply. Click here to find out more.
Can an unknown actor, musician, filmmaker, entertainer get an O-1 visa?
Yes. You don’t need to be “famous” to get the O-1 or the EB-1. Out of the USCIS given criteria you only need to fulfill 3. Fame is not one of them.
How many visas are given out a year?
Let’s take 2019 as an example of pre-COVID figures – there were 163,342 O-1 Visas approved and the EB1 visas had 42,862 approved. For the stats of your country click here.
Do I need a sponsor for the EB-1 Artist Green Card?
No. Unlike the O-1 visa you do not need a work sponsor or specific job offer and you won’t be restricted to the one employer. However, you must show proof of ‘intent to continue to work’ in your particular field. Applying without a sponsor is known as self-petitioning.
Do I need a sponsor for the O-1 Artist Visa?
Yes. You need a sponsor, also known as a petitioner, for whom you are only permitted to work, which is why a manager or agent as a sponsor is preferable to avoid being restricted to the one employer. A manager or agent sponsored visa is known as a blanket visa. You must show proof of upcoming US work for prestigious productions. Here is the USCIS information. Ensure they are legitimate. Check out this actors nightmare. Many have been mis-informed that all you need is a citizen or a green card holder to sponsor you – this is not true. Your sponsor is paramount to being allowed work legitimately in the USA. Great care must be taken in choosing your sponsor. It is possible for your own company to sponsor your application, however, there must be a bona fide “employer-employee” relationship (eg you serve another in the company that has power to control your hiring, firing and salary).
I heard that any citizen can be my sponsor?
Many message us asking if their aunt or cousin can sponsor them. No, unless your aunt or cousin has a company in the industry you are applying for they cannot sponsor you.
Will you be my sponsor?
We are not a licensed agency or manager, nor a company that has employees and so we cannot sponsor you. Finding a sponsor for your O-1 is an important part of your journey. If you are an actor consider starting here. For all other art forms contact the related unions in the US and ask them for lists. Consider checking through databases such as IMDb too.
Do I need to use an attorney?
No. Using an attorney is not a requirement of the USCIS. You are permitted to self file. The USCIS forms are free and available on their website, here and here. Our guide will assist you in preparing and submitting your case for self-filing or filing with an attorney. If you don’t feel confident in your abilities we recommend hiring an experienced attorney.
And I should do this on my own?
The EB1-EA is a self-sponsored green card, meaning you do not need a US employer to apply – you are your own sponsor. Use of an immigration attorney is optional. When we applied we were torn as to what was the better option – we had friends who applied with attorneys and been denied, others who had been approved, but never heard of anyone self-filing! There is a lot of work involved in the application, most of which you have to do on your own anyway. What an attorney offers you is peace of mind. They have done it all before many times and they can do it for you, taking much of the stress and pressure off your hands. Of course, they charge a fee for this service, which may or may not be a factor in deciding how you proceed.
There’s no guarantee either way, the deciding factor is your career, not who prepared your application. We believe that our guide can help you to present your career, showing it in its best light and highlighting its merits – whether that is in how best to word your recommendation letters or just in choosing the evidence to present to your attorney so they can best word your petition letter. We have gathered all the information, heard from all the experts, seen all the arguments for and against every angle, dug through forums and compiled a comprehensive guide on how the USCIS criteria apply to artists and entertainers.
I have already paid for an attorney, is your guide worth the extra cost?
Yes. You should aim to do visa applications right the first time. To achieve this you must be as prepared as possible. Attorneys are busy and often don’t have the time to answer every little question. This is what our guide does for you – gives you a thorough understanding of the entire process, expands your knowledge of the USCIS criteria, pinpoints the evidence required for each section, educates you on the items to look out for when reviewing your petition letter and overall gives you an assured confidence in your application. Your increased knowledge will be of benefit to your attorney and be invaluable if you receive an RFE. For less than 5% of the average cost of an immigration attorney in New York or Los Angeles, yes our guide is worth the money.
How long has your guide been around?
Our guides launched in 2015. They are updated regularly.
Do you have your guide translated into any other languages?
No, we do not offer our guides in any languages other than English. The USCIS only accept applications in English. Self-filing your application will be very difficult if you are not proficient in the English language. If that is the case, we recommend you speak with other artists/filmmakers/musicians from your country that have made the move to the US on artist visas and ask for their recommendation of immigration attorneys who can work with you in your language.
Do you offer any assistance beyond the package guidance?
Our Artist Green Card guides are step by step and should answer all your questions. We do not offer a consultation but we are happy to answer questions regarding anything unclear. Email support, answering application questions, is provided as a courtesy. We are not attorneys so can’t give case specific legal advice but will offer support regarding our guide and will answer questions related to its contents.
Is an artist green card the same as regular green card?
Yes. All green cards are the same, the only difference between them is how you can qualify – family, investment, company sponsorship or extraordinary ability.
How long is the green card for?
It’s permanent. The actual card must be renewed every 10 years. Unless you are caught in illegal activities, you are permitted to stay in the US for as long as you wish. You are permitted to file for citizenship exactly five years to the day of your green card approval.
So I can bring my family?
Yes. As with a regular green card, the EB1 allows you to bring your spouse and children. They will be given green card status too allowing them to work and study. The O-1 is more restrictive. They will come to the US on the O-3. Spouse and children may study but may not work on this status.
How long is the O-1 Temporary Artist Visa for?
The O-1 can be valid for up to 3 years. Project specific O-1 visas are only valid for dates on your work contracts. If your sponsor is an agent or manager and you have built an ‘Itinerary’ of several work contracts with minimal ‘gaps’ you may be granted a stay up to the end of your last submitted work contract. You can extend your visa by year increments.
Some visas are limited in number per year, is the EB-1/O-1?
Unlike other visas the EB-1 green card and the O-1 visas are not subject to annual quotas and so they can be filed throughout the year without a problem,
Who can apply?
The EB1-EA and O-1 green card is for artists, scientists, educators, athletes and business people (CLICK HERE FOR BUSINESS EXTRAORDINARY VISA GUIDES). Our tried and tested guides are especially designed for the artist; actor, voice over artist, performing artist, director, screenwriter, filmmaker, documentarian, composer, actors coach, improv artist, YouTuber, influencer, sculptor, musician, session performer, painter, animator, tattoo artist, circus performer, magician, opera singer, violinist, dancer, vfx, sfx, stunts, cinematographer, potter, novelist, glass-blower, ethno-artists, blacksmith, pianist, ballerina, poet, new media, photographer, DJs, cruise ship entertainers… and so many more. We recently had a pantomime writer successfully use our guide to receive their green card. PS If you are a ballroom dancer you may be seen as sports person – message us if this is you!!
Do I need to have an O-1 visa before applying for the EB-1 green card?
No. You can apply for the EB1-EA Green Card from your home country without previous O-1 visas.
How much does it cost to apply?
The only necessary costs in applying are the USCIS fees. If you wish you can add Premium Processing. You might also decide to use an attorney.
Here are the costs broken down:
EB-1 – Artist Green Card
USCIS Form I-140: $700
USCIS Form I-485: $1,140
Medical: $200 approx
Print & Postage: $150
Total = $2,275 approx
Premium Processing: $2,500* (not necessary)
Attorney Fee: $8,000 approx
O-1 – Temporary Artist Visa
USCIS Form I-129: $460
Union Consultation Letter approx $250 – $500
US Embassy Consular Processing $190 +
Print & Postage $150
Total = $1,050 – $1,300 approx
Premium Processing: $2,500* (not necessary)
Attorney Fee: $5,000 approx.
How do I know if I am extraordinary?
International artists applying for these visas must prove in a petition letter, backed up with supporting evidence, that they are extraordinary, have sustained acclaim and have risen to the top of their field. The USCIS break down the criteria on how they measure extraordinary ability. If you can prove 3 of their criteria you are eligible. We investigate each criterion in our guide so you can relate your career to them and make an educated decision on if you qualify. If you don’t believe you are ready yet the advice in our guide will help you fashion your career into being extraordinary. Click here to read our analysis of extraordinary ability.
How do I prove extraordinary ability?
The USCIS have a specific list of necessary documents that they need to fulfill each criteria. We go through that list with examples. Key to applying is knowing what makes compelling evidence from your career as a whole and how best to present that to satisfy your examiner. If you began as an actor and transitioned to directing you will paint that picture of how your career developed. We explain the process in easy to manage steps from preparation to completion allowing you to apply on your own, self-file or file with an attorney.
If I get denied my O-1 Visa or my EB-1 is that it, can I never apply again?
Of course you can apply as many times as you need. The USCIS look at your case objectively not emotively as us applicants do. Many applicants buy our guides following a denial. Usually their cases that were filed on their behalf were weak, using our guides they reframe their achievements into stronger arguments and submit again with success.
I am in business is it the same process?
Yes. The same criteria are used by the USCIS to assess your application. We have built guides that include the proper definitions for business application, including start-ups with petition letters suit your application. Click here for our business extraordinary visa guides.
Can I audition for pilot season without a visa?
It’s best you don’t. If you intend to keep working in the spotlight, always ensure your affairs are in order and you do things by the book. Many artists have been denied entry after the Customs and Border Patrol have found headshots, resumes etc in hand luggage. If you intend to audition or take meetings cover your bases by coming to the USA on an O-1 visa or at least a B visa. We have discussed further here on how you can prepare your case. Our guide obviously delves deeper but this post should be a start.
I’m a musician can I play free gigs in USA?
Every year musicians and bands are deported. Read this unfortunate story from SXSW and this article. As far as we are concerned if you intend to keep a professional career you must be above board in all dealings and that includes visas. It doesn’t need to cost thousands.
If I get my O-1B visa does that automatically get me into the union such as SAG-AFTRA?
No. As part of your O1 application process you need to obtain Union Consultation Letters, in these letters state that they have looked at your case file and have ‘no objection’ to you joining the union. You must still follow each unions steps to join including pay their initiation fee of over $3000. Check out SAG-AFTRA here. To get the ‘no objection’ letter you need to contact your appropriate union. Here an example of what SAG-AFTRA ask for. Check here for the USCIS Union list.
When should I apply for my EB-1?
Apply when you feel you satisfy the requirements or wait until you have a project is garnering much press/accolades. As a major part of the application is proving “sustained acclaim” it is a good idea to apply just as you have had a recent success.
What’s the process?
We have put together a one sheet on the EB-1 Process here.
*When Priority Date is current* My O-1 expires soon. If I apply for the EB-1 can I continue to work?
Perhaps. You can not work if your visa expires, but you can ‘concurrently file’ your EB-1 petition. This is when you submit your application to qualify as an artist of extraordinary ability and submit your Adjustment of Status at the same time (more how to do this in our guide). Within that application you can request a temporary green card allowing you to work and travel from and back to the US while the USCIS is making a decision on your case.
**All EB-1 applicants should double check if visa numbers available for your country if you wish to ‘concurrently file’ especially citizens of China and India.
If your O-1 visa is about to expire consider filing an O-1 Change of Sponsor or an O-1 Extension. We have guides on how to do this.
I just got my O-1!! Can I apply straight away for my EB-1?
Yes. You can apply right away and go the Adjustment of Status route (more on this in our EB1 Green Card guide). You can also apply for a temporary green card while your case is pending with the USCIS.
Do I need to interview?
Yes. If you are coming to the US on a new O-1 or EB-1 you will need to interview at your local US consulate/embassy. If you are already in the US on a valid visa and were interviewed previously you will be required to interview again at a USCIS service station close to you.
How do I interview at the consulate or embassy to activate my visa?
It’s a very simple process. Follow the USCIS instructions, be polite and presentable. You must ensure you have your documentation with you. The interview is normally no longer than 10 minutes. We go through this more in our guide.
How did you create this guide?
We built this guide from our own successful self-filed petitions and the successful applications of other artists we guided through the process since 2015. We condensed our one-on-ones into a 5 step process including over 130+ pages of advice including evidence building, sample petition letters, form filling break downs and more. We have set it all out online to be searchable and accessed by your email address and password. This system allows us to keep you up-to-date with any new USCIS directives etc.
Why this price point?
We understand that spare funds can be hard to come by (See this Observer Article). A union O-1 consultation letter costs anywhere from $250 up to $500, attorney consultations can cost $300 over the phone – we break down and simplify the entire process for you in our comprehensive guides. We have spent thousands of hours studying both successful and unsuccessful applications plus we keep the guides updated with current information making our guides definitely worth the price!
Do you accept cryptocurrencies?
Yes. Please email [artist]@greencard.guide for instructions.
How do I know your guides really works?
Read our testimonials. We have built this guide from working exclusively on artists’ applications at every level and permutation – from applications starting from scratch, to coming on after a Request for Further Evidence or Notice of Intent to Deny. Our guides cover all possible eventualities and walks you through the process. There are other online guides available, some cheaper and others more expensive, however we believe them to be limited in their coverage and lacking important elements specific to artists (guides we found are mostly for scientist applicants). Some guides only show you a skeleton cover letter and don’t explain the complete process our guides do so your letter is original and not “cookie cutter”.
There are no names or photos of the people who gave testimonials how do we know they are real?
Understandably most artists and entertainers find the subject of how they got their US work papers to be sensitive and private, something we wholly respect, and as many of our clients are in the public eye, we would never give out their names. We are always shocked when we see attorneys announce artists names on their websites! If you need more convincing that what we offer is genuine we can ask a couple of them to connect with you and tell you of their experiences. We take privacy seriously and use an SSL to protect you while you use our site.
Is your guide worth the money?
Yes. Definitely. Successfully helping artists across all platforms since 2015, our guides costs less than 5% of the average cost of an immigration attorney in New York or Los Angeles. We believe that is a very fair price for the quality and quantity of information we provide to give you control and confidence in your petition. A consultation with an immigration attorney can cost $300. This may be parceled into their fee if you hire them. The cheapest attorney quote that we have come across for an artist green card application was $6000, most expensive $15,000!! These costs don’t normally include USCIS fees, sometimes these fees don’t cover the attorney costs if you receive an RFE! So you are looking at a total of $8,000 to $17,000, this can increase if you have a spouse and dependents. If you self file, this guide is saving you thousands! It step by step guides you until the green card is in your hand. Secondly, having bought our guide and deciding to file through an attorney, if you follow the steps and build your own case, you have the power to negotiate costs with them. Thirdly, we provide information that an attorney does not have the time to relate to you. Our guides give you control and confidence allowing you to take responsibility for your life.
Why are there no other guides available to buy?
When we went through this process we were surprised that there were only science guides available. Having figured out the format and reverse engineered the USCIS application and had the idea to share the information with you, we went hunting for domain names. Many applicable domain names we found had been bought by attorneys. We suppose they had plans to build the guides but abandoned them when they figured out how much work/time it would take. As artists we have a lot of downtime, over 200+ pages later, this is certainly one of the most involving and rewarding of our undertakings.
Why did you build these guides?
We built these guides because we had successfully filed our own cases and helped out friends with theirs. We’d spend 8 hours at a time talking our colleagues through the process which took us away from our creative lives. We sought out solutions to find the best format for us to spread the knowledge and inspire others. The USCIS gives you the option of applying without an attorney and we wanted to empower extraordinary ability people to do just that. The common problems applicants we came across was that artists had issues with attorneys not having time to answer questions, not filing paperwork on time (sometimes making them out of status), wrong fees submitted on their behalf, petition letters with conflicting information, scamming by not fully translating documents, dodgy petitioner/sponsors and limiting job titles to name a few.
Most visa problems we have come across could easily have been avoided if the applicant had been made aware of them. These reasons are why we built our guides.
I’ve to log in to a website for the information? Why can’t I get this as a download?
As an informational resource with ever changing criteria and regulations, we believe the membership model we have built to be the most beneficial to you as it allows us keep the content current and ensure we are giving the best up-to-date advice at all times. With over 130 online pages (around 500 printed pages), the online format, includes a handy search function and makes for a more user friendly interface. You can print the pages or copy and paste documents for offline personal use. The site is set to auto-renew and in the unlikely event that our business winds up, we will forward a PDF version of the guide to all members for download.
Is your material current?
Yes. We often receive panicked emails from artists having received RFEs because of attorneys submitting with outdated interpretations of the criteria. The artists that have used our site have had no issues and most have been straight approved.
We update our guides as soon as new material is released eg. increased USCIS fees, new administration updates, Medical, Adjustment of Status etc. As the basis for our guide we use recent successful applications and USCIS announcements and documentation including the USCIS Policy Memorandum regarding the “Evaluation of Evidence Submitted with Certain Form I-140 Petitions” published in response to the case Kazarian v. USCIS, 596 F.3d 1115. More updates over COVID and the new administration in 2021 have made us very busy.
Can I find this information online?
Some. We trawled through appeal cases and RFE cases on the USCIS website, which is an excellent resource, to build our successful petitions. We also used forums. There are other purchasable guides. What we could not find online and we give to you are: sample petition letters specifically compiled for the artist – we offer TWO EB-1 Artist letters in our guide and TWO Film and Music O-1 Artist letters for Original Application, ONE Artist O-1 Extension and ONE O-1 Artist Change of Sponsor. We used information gleaned from successful cases that we worked on and researched and tested our guide to find the answers to your questions, saving you time and making your application process easier.
Do you tell me everything?
Yes. We tell you EVERYTHING! We have left no stone unturned in this guide – from gathering evidence to writing your petition letter to explaining the forms to Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing. EVERYTHING! All available to you 24/7/365 in a user friendly searchable format.
How long does the EB1 take?
All the material in our guide is available to you within seconds of purchase. The documents will be there for you for as long as you need them 24/7/365 from anywhere you have internet access. To go through all the material in our guide will take approximately 2 weeks. The time for gathering evidence to filing your application is up to you, generally we observe it takes about 60 days. Allow least 6 to 9 months to hear if your Artist Green Card application is successful – or 15 days if you file using Premium Processing (check out processing times here). From approval it can take another 2 months for the actual green card to be processed. These times are approximations.
I heard it takes 2 years for the green card, is that true?
No. It takes nowhere near as long as 2 years. We have not had anyone that has used our guides experience this long of a wait. Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works though.
How long does the O1 take?
All the material in our is available to you within seconds of purchase. The documents will be there for you for as long as you need them 24/7/365 from anywhere you have internet access. To go through all the material in our guide will take approximately 5 days. The time for gathering evidence to filing your application is up to you, generally we observe it takes about 40 days. Allow least 2 to 4 months to hear if your O1 Temporary Artist Visa application is successful – or 15 days if you file using Premium Processing (check out processing times here). From approval it can take a week to organize your consulate/embassy meeting and another week for your passport to arrive with your visa inserted.. These times are approximations.
I have a Request for Further Evidence on my I-140, is your guide useful to me?
Yes. In our guide we have dedicated a section to dealing with the RFE in an organized way that helps you overcome what can be a stressful setback. A number of artists approached us only after they received their RFE and were unsure of how to proceed even when working with an attorney. Using our RFE analysis document and linking back to our break down of ‘What is good Evidence’, they felt confident in going through the process of satisfying their RFE to success!
Are there issues with the O-1 visa?
Yes. The issues with the O-1 visa predominantly affect actors. Business people, start-ups, musicians, composers, filmmakers or any other artists are unaffected as far as we are aware. Please message us with your bad experience if you have had problems.
Most visa problems we have come across could easily have been avoided if the artist had been made aware of them. One of the main reasons why we built our guides was because we were so in the dark on so many issues that attorneys didn’t have the time to explain.
The O-1B is an excellent temporary visa to allow you live and work in the United States and is ideal for the creative artist who wants to trial working in the USA before committing to the EB-1 permanent green card. If your intention is to create your own work in the US then the O-1B is ideal. If you wish to use the O-1 as a stepping stone to the EB-1, it is a solid step in the right direction and establishes you in the US ahead of your EB-1 application. The O-1B can be used to have the time necessary in the US to meet with potential employers and get your work known – and if an employer that doesn’t accept blanket visas wishes to hire you, they can choose to submit an application for another O-1B for you with them listed as sponsor – the possibilities are endless!
There are restrictions on some O-1B actors which are imposed not by the USCIS but within the arts industries. The Department of Justice states that no persons cleared for work by the USCIS should be discriminated against due to their non-immigrant status, yet difficulties remain. O-1 Actors (with rare exception) are barred from hire by NBCUniversal, Sony, ABC Disney, and Warner Bros, thus excluding them from a large number of castings – CBS and Fox Studios do accept the O-1 once the actor presents their petition in advance and it clearly lists them as a “Screen Actor”. An important element for all applicants to note – you will be limited to working within the category of artist you list on your petition – “Stage Actors” cannot work as “Screen Actors” – so be sure that you list all job titles under which you intend to work on your application. This also stems from USCIS and the studios having issue with the chosen sponsor.
Another issue facing O-1 Actors is that they may not join Actors’ Equity Association, meaning they cannot perform in union-contracted theater productions unless ‘grandfathered’ in.
The approval time can be long – approx 4 months and can be as much as 7 months. If you have a strong O-1 case consider using the USCIS Premium Processing service.
There are cases of O-1 applicants being turned down at their US consulate and embassy interview. We believe this is because the artists are not fully aware of their application and not in a position to argue their case.
This application is not rocket science – if you have a good grasp of your case and choose your sponsor carefully, you should be successful.
NB It is not necessary for you to have an O-1 visa before applying for the EB1 Green Card!
Do you review cases before we file?
Because all careers, and so all applications, are different and as we are not attorneys we cannot give advice on individual cases. However we built the guide to be as detailed as possible and to answer all questions. If any crop up that are not answered, of course, send a message through to us. When you read our sample petition letters and read our break downs you will see how straight forward it is to construct your own. If, however, you feel like you need another set of eyes on your application we recommend that you hire an experienced immigration attorney to review your work before submitting. You should be able to negotiate a reasonable rate for this as you will have completed the bulk of the work.
Is the EB-1 Green Card application the same as the O-1 Visa?
No. The O-1 and EB-1 criteria are similar but there are discrepancies in what is known as the ‘plain text interpretation’. It is very important that you understand the current interpretations of the criteria for each visa to avoid denial or an RFE.
There is a higher standard of extraordinary ability necessary for approval of an EB-1 green card application than an O-1.
The O-1 application requires more documents to be included in the application: supply a sponsor contract, itinerary, consultations etc. These visas should be treated as completely separate applications.
Who buys your guides?
Artists who buy our guides are proactive in their careers, they are artists who don’t wait around for someone to hold their hand, they are self starters and passionate about what they do.
Some are artists who hired an attorney and were asked for “more stuff” or were faced with a “Request for Evidence” and needed our guides in-depth guidance on each criteria.
Others are artists starting out in their careers and envision their future working in the USA and use our guides as a blueprint on how to shape their careers to be declared extraordinary!
Many agents, managers, production companies also recommend our guides to foreign artists they wish to hire.
Should I buy your guide if I’m not willing to work hard?
No. Applying for a US visa is laborious with or without an attorney. If you are not willing to do that work, please do not buy this guide.
I’ve only started out in my career, can I apply?
Yes, BUT you must have evidence of a sustained career. USCIS does not give a set length of career so it is up to you to prove sustained acclaim over whatever length of career you have had. What we recommend is that you use our guide as a checklist to evaluate your career and a blueprint to build a stronger career if you feel it needs more work. As with most paper applications in the world, you have to help your examiner check the boxes – this time as “extraordinary”. The O-1 or P visa might be a more feasible option for you right now.
While the EB1-EA criteria are similar to the O1-B, the level of scrutiny your evidence comes under is far more thorough. You have to decide if you are ready. You can take non-committal consultations with attorneys to help you judge if your evidence will pass muster, and you may be told by those attorneys or a “visabot” that you are not yet ready to apply. Many use our guide as an actionable blueprint to develop their career and build their evidence in such a way as to strategically better qualify for a future application.
In 2008 we met an older lady who had worked as a business woman in London for decades, she had taken early retirement and recently graduated with a masters degree in acting. She had no performance experience, but she was determined to make the move to Los Angeles and follow her dreams. Surely she couldn’t very easily qualify for a visa that requires a career of sustained acclaim! Yet two years later, having focused all her efforts on finding and creating work that would satisfy the visa criteria, she arrived in L.A. with an O1-B visa. And upon learning of the difficulties and restrictions O1 actors were facing, she continued her focused efforts and two years later again, using our techniques and strategy she self-filed her EB1-EA green card – and SHE GOT IT! So it IS all possible. How did she manage it? She worked strategically through our criteria deconstructions and shaped a career trajectory that ticked the immigration examiners boxes. By concentrating on the roles, positions and organizations that would give her status among her industry peers she built a petition worthy of the extraordinary artist visa. We built our Artist Green Card guide so you can have the tools to do the same. In our guides we show you how to design your career to gain the most from it and how to generate the evidence you need to qualify as an artist of extraordinary ability. We share with you how to build a portfolio that demonstrates your career in the best way and with our extra supplements on press releases, marketing, and goal setting, we help you garner the all-important paper evidence of your extraordinary ability. We demonstrate how to formulate your petition letter, give you examples of 2 full letters written in different styles and detail how to compile your evidence, and, of course, give you an understanding of the forms.
Do I need to be in the USA to file?
No you can apply from your home country. You will go through the process called Consular Processing.
Is the EB-1 different to the Green Card Lottery?
Yes. The Artist Green Card is given to artists and entertainers of extraordinary ability and requires you prove such. The DV Lottery awards whoever wins with a green card. To apply you must be from a country that is permitted to apply for the green card lottery. The application is free and opens once a year from October to November. DO NOT pay to apply. This is the official FREE website to enter. Click here to see if your occupation is qualified to enter.
Should I go for the EB-1 or the O-1?
You can only answer this question once you have reviewed your options. If you are in doubt our Combo guide may be for you.
What if I don’t want to stay permanently?
Then the O-1 is fantastic temporary artist visa option. You need a sponsor and work offers, and the application process is very similar. Here is the USCIS information. Our O-1 Visa Guide is comprehensive. The P visa, a project specific visa, might also be an option for you USCIS information here. Coming to USA on vacation? Click here.
I have only a days work on a film shooting in the US do I still need a visa?
Yes. If you are physically working on US soil, even if a foreign company is paying you, you must have a visa to be authorized to work in the USA. It’s work on an unpaid short. Then you should perhaps investigate the B visa.
If I am playing a music festival do I still need a visa?
Yes. If you are performing physically on US soil, even if it is a showcase, you should have a visa to be authorized to play. If you are coming into the USA with your instrument/press material and as many of these are high profile events they will find out and you will be deported. Check out Damien McFlys experience. This can have an adverse effect on your future applications. Check 21 Savage arrest.
Do I need special computer skills to build my application?
No. You will need access to a computer as your petition letter should be typed, access to the internet, a copier and you will be required to print your application. We do recommend that you scan your application before sending(sometimes evidence can get lost), so a scanner is also beneficial.
Is my privacy protected?
Yes. To access our guide you must sign up with a valid email this will never be shared with a third party. We also protect the identity of our successful clients. We ask that on successfully receiving your visa that you message us with a request to remove your name from our records at success[@]greencard.guide We aim to treat you how we would like to be treated.
Will my payment to you be safe and secure?
We use PayPal because it is the most secure and trusted online platform.
Did the last administration cracked down on these visas?
These genius visas are ‘first preference’ visas and so are deemed very important and get priority. Even if there was to be major immigration overhaul we believe that it was likely that these visas would be left unchanged. Check this Times of India article and Billboard article. This was the case except for citizens, even dual citizens, of these 7 countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. If they had any ties to these countries we recommended that is was best to apply if they could prove strong relationships, either business or family with the US. We also recommended finding a reputable attorney that has worked with successful applicants from those countries. The Public Charge Rule was introduced for green card applicants – more paperwork but not too much of a challenge. The current administration has overruled this. We will keep the site as updated as possible.
There has been cases of fraudulent applications and so we advise you to be as above board as possible. See Variety article here.
What if I have a question that’s not here?
Email us hello[@]greencard.guide
OK, I’ve read everything here and I still don’t know of I should use your guide. What do I do?
Eh… what can we say. Yes, this is for real – tried and tested. Give us a call on US (646) 543-3983
Read about the EB-1 here
Read about the O-1 here
So what about Pilot Season for the Foreign Actor?
Thank you for this amazing resource you’ve put together. I’m in the very early stages of my acting career, and signing up to your O1 Visa resources is helping me immensely to plan what I’m going to do, and which projects I would like to get involved in. – July, 2020
Thank you again, you’ve been so helpful. – Brooklyn, 2021
I filed concurrently and without premium processing from within the States beginning of May. My approval was processed end of June! I just received my approval notice! Thank you again! Can’t wait to share the final good news when the actual green card comes!– July, 2021