Artists and Entertainers from Abroad Seeking O-1 Visa or P-1 Visa.

You want your immigration attorney to be passionate about your case.  Immigration Lawyer Marc P. Feldman is passionate about music and assists international musicians obtain O-1 Visas and P-1 Visas.  Most recently, I secured Finnish Violinist  Linda Hedlund’s O-1 Visa for her performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City as well as other venues.  I have secured P-1 Visas for more than 40 performers of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, an O-1 Visa for the 2005 Van Cliburn Piano Competition Finalist, David Cabassi; and P-1 Visas for Artis Quartet (Vienna, Austria)  members Herbert Kefer, Johannes Meissl,  Othmar Mueller and Peter Schuhmayer.

O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.  The O non-immigrant classification is commonly referred to as an O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry).

The Petition must be filed by a Petitioner acting as a U.S. agent for the beneficiary or beneficiaries who will be working for more than one employer within the same period.

O-1 Visa Eligibility Criteria.

To qualify for an O-1 visa, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international acclaim and must be coming temporarily to the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

“Extraordinary ability” in the arts is defined as “distinction,” “a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered to the extent that the person described as prominent is renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts.”   The term “arts” includes the performing arts, line arts, visual arts, and culinary arts and all related technical and creative positions.

P-1B A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

Eligibility Criteria

At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year.

Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential.

Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification.

Most P-1 entertainment group members must have been performing together for at least one year” to qualify for P-1 status. Under the P-1 criteria, only the achievements of the group as a whole are relevant. P-1 entertainment groups are only admitted for the period of time necessary to complete the performance, not to exceed one year.  Since P-1 entertainment groups must meet evidentiary standards comparable to those required of O-1 aliens and are only accorded visa status for one year, performers should consider the possibility of filing separate O-1 visa petitions for the group’s members. This O-1 option is particularly useful for relatively new groups in which individual members each have a strong record of accomplishment outside of the group. Moreover, the O-1 gives the individual members more freedom to pursue solo projects, while the P-1 visa, by contrast, limits their activities to those of the group.

Immigration Lawyer Marc P. Feldman can navigate through the rules and procedures of immigration law so that you can do what you want to do: perform in the United States.

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