|What do the Beatles, Heidi Klum, and the National Acrobats of The People's Republic of China have in common? In order to perform in the United States, they had to get approval from the government. All foreign artists and entertainers who want to work in America must go through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Foreign guest artists must normally obtain one of the following:
Each of these temporary visas is appropriate in different situations. Filing for the wrong type of visa can significantly delay an entertainer’s entrance into the country.
O-1 Visa for Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
Individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry who want to come to the United States temporarily to practice their craft are typically eligible for an O-1B Visa.
In order to obtain an O-1B Visa, the applicant must have received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director's Guild Award, or provide evidence of at least (3) three of the following requirements:
P-1B Visa for a Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group
The P-1B Visa is available to individuals coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an internationally known entertainment group.
In order to qualify for a P-1B Visa, the applicant must provide evidence demonstrating:
P-2 Visa for an Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program
The P-2 Visa is infrequently granted. It is available only to artists and entertainers participating in a bilateral, reciprocal exchange program between an entity in the U.S. and an entity in a given foreign country. There are very few programs in existence whose participants qualify for P-2 Visas
P-3 Visa for an Artist or Entertainer Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program
Entertainers coming to the United States either individually or as a group for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation are eligible for a P-3 Visa.
Although the program bringing the entertainer to the United States can be commercial or noncommercial nature, it is essential that the program further the understanding or development of the art form practiced by the entertainer.
Families & Support Personnel
The immigration law recognizes that entertainers do not often travel alone. Necessary support staff and certain family members, specifically spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, may often obtain visas allowing them to accompany entertainers temporarily working in the United States.
If you are a performing entertainer seeking to enter the United States, you need the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to determine which visa to apply for and to guide you through the process. Contact us today for a consultation