Los Angeles Lawyer For Entertainers with Extraordinary Ability
There are a variety of visas that can be utilized by individuals in the entertainment industry. The most common visa utilized by actors and other entertainers is the O-1 visa. Musical groups and entertainment acts commonly use the P-1 visas. Individuals from all professions that are at the top of their field can apply for the EB1 Extraordinary Ability Petition, which if approved, allows the individual to apply directly for their Green Card. We can advise you which visa is best suited for your individual needs.
The O-1 Visa is a common visa for individuals within the entertainment industry. The O-1 visa is a temporary work visa available to foreign nationals who have “distinction” in their field as “demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.” Many individuals get scared away by the hyperbolic language of the statute, but in reality, with the help of an experienced attorney, the O-1 visa standard can be attained by most up and coming professionals who are a slight cut above the rest.
In addition to extraordinary achievement, the O-1 visa requires the sponsorship of a U.S. agent or company to serve as a U.S. Petitioner. The U.S. petitioner/sponsor may be: The actual employer of the individual (for example in a particular production, the production company), the representative of both the employer and the individual; or, a person or entity authorized by the individual to act for, or in place of, the individual as its Agent. Actors will usually be in the latter category.
The O-1 Visa may initially be requested for up to a period of three years and may be extended in one-year increments indefinitely. There may be many reasons to request less time if the job offer only requires the individual to work in the U.S. for a few weeks or months.
Key Features of the O-1 Visa
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the O visa include:
- The O visa holder can work legally in the U.S. for the O visa sponsor. If, however, the worker wants to change jobs, a new visa is necessary.
- O visas can be issued fairly quickly.
- O visas will be granted for the length of time necessary for a particular event, up to a maximum of three years, with unlimited extensions in one-year increments.
- The O visa holder and family may travel in and out of the U.S. or stay continuously for as long as the visa stamp and status are valid.
- A spouse and unmarried children under age 21 may accompany the O visa holder, but they may not accept employment in the United States.
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