We are lucky to have filed many successful O-1B visa petitions on behalf of individuals seeking a visa for their extraordinary ability in the arts. In this video, we share with you a recent case study of how our firm achieved success for an internationally recognized DJ of Electronic Dance Music, allowing him to live and work in the United States with his approved O-1B visa.
Want to learn how we did it? Keep on watching for more information.
What do the famous international DJs Avicii, Tiesto, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, and Afrojack have in common? They are not American, or at least they were not American, when they first entered the United States. These individuals had to apply for a special visa type, enabling them to perform in the United States, known as the O-1B visa of extraordinary ability in the arts.
Recently, our firm represented an internationally recognized DJ similarly performing under the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) genre.
O-1B Extraordinary Ability in the Arts Requirements
To work in the United States as a DJ, you must apply for the O-1B extraordinary ability in the arts visa type.
The O-1B visa is available to DJs who have extraordinary skills and can meet the O-1B criteria of national or international recognition.
What do DJs need to qualify for the O-1B visa?
Before you consider the O-1B visa, it is necessary for you to be represented by a U.S. employer, U.S. agent, or a foreign employer through a U.S. agent, who can file the O-1B petition on your behalf as your “petitioner.” In general, an applicant demonstrates his or her extraordinary ability in the O-1B category by providing evidence of sustained national or international acclaim, showing recognition of achievements, and providing signed contracts, offer letters, deal memos, letters of intent, and/or a detailed itinerary outlining the details of each planned performance.
To show national or international recognition, the applicant must provide evidence that he or she has received, or been nominated for, a significant national or international award in their particular field (such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy, or Director’s Guild Award) or if the applicant has not received such an award, at least three of the following forms of evidence:
- Evidence that the beneficiary has performed, and will perform, services as a lead or starring participant in productions or events that have a distinguished reputation, as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements;
- Evidence that the beneficiary has achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications;
- Evidence that the beneficiary has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation, as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials;
- Evidence that the beneficiary has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion pictures or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications;
- Evidence that the beneficiary has received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies, or other recognized experts in the field in which the beneficiary is engaged. Such testimonials must be in a form which clearly indicates the author’s authority, expertise, and knowledge of the beneficiary’s achievements; or
- Evidence that the beneficiary has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence.
If these criteria do not apply to the applicant’s occupation, the U.S. petitioner can submit comparable evidence to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility.
For the purposes of this post, we will focus on breaking down the criteria that is most commonly satisfied (at least 3 must be established to be successful) :
(1) Critical, Starring, or Leading Role: Evidence that the beneficiary has performed, and will perform, in a lead, starring, or critical role for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation, as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials
Essentially, this criteria requires the applicant to show that they have previously performed, and will continue to perform, in a leading, starring, or critical role for venues or organizations that have a distinguished reputation.
This can be shown by providing such documentation as letters from the event organizers, reviews, advertisements about the event, any publications about the event in magazines, newspapers, or the major media (for instance online articles in major publications such as the New York Times), or information about the event on the event webpage, photocopies of contracts, offer letters, deal memos, endorsements, etc. as well as any related documentation to show that the applicant will have a leading, starring, or critical role in the performance.
(2) National or International Recognition: Evidence that the beneficiary has achieved national or international recognition for achievements, as evidenced by critical reviews or other published materials by or about the beneficiary in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other publications.
It is also necessary to show that the applicant has achieved national or international recognition. This is proven by providing articles about your work in major media publications, major newspapers, magazines, etc.
(3) Major Commercial or Critically Acclaimed Successes: Evidence that the beneficiary has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by such indicators as title, rating, standing in the field, box office receipts, motion pictures or television ratings, and other occupational achievements reported in trade journals, major newspapers, or other publications
This can be shown by providing such documentation as concert ratings, concert sales, concert receipts, billboard and other major industry chart ratings, television or radio ratings, and recognition from other prominent DJs in the industry (letters of support).
(4) High Salary: Evidence that the beneficiary has either commanded a high salary or will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence
High salary can be shown be providing such documentation as contracts showing high renumeration, government income tax declarations showing the DJs annual income, or pay stubs documenting high salary.
Once you have obtained the documentation necessary in support of your O-1B petition, the application is submitted with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You may choose to file your O-1B petition using premium processing service by filing Form I-907 and paying the $2,500 premium processing fee. Premium processing service guarantees a 15-calendar day processing time to render a decision, or your money back.
Once USCIS has approved your O-1B visa petition, you will be able to schedule a visa interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country to obtain the O-1B visa in your passport.
In conclusion, if you are able to satisfy at least 3 of the above-mentioned criteria, you can work as a DJ in the United States for an initial period of up to 3 years. Subsequently, your employer or agent can file an extension after this period of time, to allow you to continue your performances. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 can join you as well, however, please be aware that spouses are prohibited from seeking employment in the United States.
If you are a DJ that is interested in applying, we recommend that you continue to build your portfolio, while documenting your achievements so that you are well prepared when you are ready to apply for the O-1B visa.
Contact Us. If you would like to schedule a consultation with us, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- O-1B Visa Extraordinary Ability in the Arts
- O-1B Success Stories
- DV Lottery FY 2024 Registration
- Diversity Visa Lottery FY 2024 Instructions
- List of Embassies and Consulates
- November 2022 Visa Bulletin
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
- Youtube channel
JOIN OUR NEW FACEBOOK GROUP
Need more immigration updates? We have created a new facebook group to address the impact of the new executive order and other changing developments related to COVID-19. Follow us there.
For other COVID 19 related immigration updates please visit our Immigration and COVID-19 Resource Center here.