Want to Put on a Show? How an LA Immigration Lawyer Helps You Get an Entertainment Visa

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Each year thousands of musicians, artists, comedians, and other entertainers visit the United States for shows. As a deeply cultural city, LA warmly welcomes these foreign entertainers and many are beloved by the American public. It would truly be a detriment to the arts and culture in Los Angeles to prevent or hinder talented entertainers from other parts of the world from visiting the United States.

Yet, most performances have a commercial purpose or result in financial gain for the foreign entertainer. This is considered “work” under the United States immigration laws, an activity that requires a particular visa. Unlike most working arrangements, an entertainer is only in the United States for a very short period of time and outside the parameters of an organized company or business.

In many other ways, working as an entertainer is unique from other employment situations. Recognition of the unique qualities of entertainment and performance work, the United States developed specific visas for performers, artists, and other entertainers. An LA immigration lawyer helps an overseas band or foreign comedian to obtain an entertainment visa through these six steps.

#1: Discuss Your Past Work and Upcoming Trip

 

An LA immigration lawyer needs specific information about your prior work experience and recognition as an entertainer, in addition to the details of your upcoming performances in the United States. This more information you can provide, the better as an LA immigration lawyer uses your responses to identity the correct visa scheme for you.

There are two broad categories of entertainment visas. The O visa has an easier approval process, but heightened eligibility requirements. You must be an artist of extraordinary ability to obtain an O visa. As well, an O visa is only granted for a specific event, concert, performance, or show and that must be specified on the application in step 4.

On the other hand, P visas have a more rigorous application process, but open to a broader range of applicants. Bands and other recognized performance groups can apply under the P1 visa scheme, while artists participating in a reciprocal exchange quality under the P2 visa.

An LA immigration lawyer utilizes your professional and performance information to decide which of these schemes is a better fit for your circumstances.

#2: Confirm Other Eligibility Requirements

Once an LA immigration lawyer has determined your professional eligibility and purpose of your trip, there are still other eligibility requirements for any entertainment visa in the United States. You must answer questions regarding prior criminal convictions, health and medical concerns or needs, and your travel history.

A personal history of criminal convictions, medical complications, or deportations could make you ineligible for an entertainment visa. However, you shouldn’t discount your eligibility for an entertainment visa before speaking with an LA immigration lawyer. Even if you have an infraction or minor medical issue on your background, it could qualify as an exception or be otherwise explained in your visa application.

#3: Obtain References and Written Advisory Opinion

You need to confirm your eligibility for an O or P visa though documentation and evidence. In regards to the O visa scheme, an entertainer must demonstrate distinction in the upper echelon of his or her field. As well, an entertainer cannot petition for his or her O visa, but must utilize a U.S. agent or company that provides this support. An LA immigration lawyer can collect all of this evidence and paperwork prior to filing your application.

Documentation for a P visa is a different process. Before the application for a P visa can be submitted a U.S. employer or supporting organization must provide a written advisory opinion. This advisory opinion must confirm the entertainer’s qualifications and nature of the performances in the United States. This written advisory opinion must accompany any application or petition for a P visa.

#4: Submit Application Form DS-160

All non-immigration visas, including student visas and employment visas, utilize the same application form – this is form DS-160. An LA immigration lawyer will compile the documentation, verbal and written information you provide, and other evidence to complete DS-160. This application, and all supporting documents are then submitted to a US embassy or consulate in your home country.

An LA immigration lawyer must also provide a printed copy of the submitted application, as you will need to bring the printed application to your interview in step 5.

#5: Interview at the US Embassy or Consulate

You can’t obtain an entertainment visa for the United States without interviewing at a US embassy or consulate in your home country. This interview is by appointment only, and an LA immigration lawyer can help you submit the appropriate form and information to schedule your interview. Once you request an interview, it is typically granted within five to 15 days of your request. However, there can be delays in locations or countries that have a high volume of non-immigration applications or only a single location to interview.

As well, an LA immigration lawyer can help you prepare for your interview at the US embassy or consulate. The questions asked frequently depend on the specifics of your application, but an experienced immigration lawyer can accurately assess what might be of concern to an immigration interviewer.

After your interview, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services component of the Department of Homeland Security will render a decision

#6: Enter the United States

Obtaining an entertainment visa is a necessary requirement for entering the United States to perform or participate in cultural exchange. However, simply having a visa doesn’t guarantee entry into the United States. You must still pass through immigration and border protection at a U.S. port of entry, such as an international airport and sufficiently answer the questions of an immigration officer. An LA immigration lawyer can help you prepare for this process and identify any issues that may impede your entry.

As well, if you have difficulty at a port of entry, an LA immigration lawyer should be your first phone call. If you are ready to work with a top immigration lawyer in LA for your entertainment or other employment visa, contact Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law. Our LA office is available by phone at 213-295-3500.

Want to Put on a Show? How an LA Immigration Lawyer Helps You Get an Entertainment Visa

inne-rpage-seperator

Each year thousands of musicians, artists, comedians, and other entertainers visit the United States for shows. As a deeply cultural city, LA warmly welcomes these foreign entertainers and many are beloved by the American public. It would truly be a detriment to the arts and culture in Los Angeles to prevent or hinder talented entertainers from other parts of the world from visiting the United States.

Yet, most performances have a commercial purpose or result in financial gain for the foreign entertainer. This is considered “work” under the United States immigration laws, an activity that requires a particular visa. Unlike most working arrangements, an entertainer is only in the United States for a very short period of time and outside the parameters of an organized company or business.

In many other ways, working as an entertainer is unique from other employment situations. Recognition of the unique qualities of entertainment and performance work, the United States developed specific visas for performers, artists, and other entertainers. An LA immigration lawyer helps an overseas band or foreign comedian to obtain an entertainment visa through these six steps.

#1: Discuss Your Past Work and Upcoming Trip

 

An LA immigration lawyer needs specific information about your prior work experience and recognition as an entertainer, in addition to the details of your upcoming performances in the United States. This more information you can provide, the better as an LA immigration lawyer uses your responses to identity the correct visa scheme for you.

There are two broad categories of entertainment visas. The O visa has an easier approval process, but heightened eligibility requirements. You must be an artist of extraordinary ability to obtain an O visa. As well, an O visa is only granted for a specific event, concert, performance, or show and that must be specified on the application in step 4.

On the other hand, P visas have a more rigorous application process, but open to a broader range of applicants. Bands and other recognized performance groups can apply under the P1 visa scheme, while artists participating in a reciprocal exchange quality under the P2 visa.

An LA immigration lawyer utilizes your professional and performance information to decide which of these schemes is a better fit for your circumstances.

#2: Confirm Other Eligibility Requirements

Once an LA immigration lawyer has determined your professional eligibility and purpose of your trip, there are still other eligibility requirements for any entertainment visa in the United States. You must answer questions regarding prior criminal convictions, health and medical concerns or needs, and your travel history.

A personal history of criminal convictions, medical complications, or deportations could make you ineligible for an entertainment visa. However, you shouldn’t discount your eligibility for an entertainment visa before speaking with an LA immigration lawyer. Even if you have an infraction or minor medical issue on your background, it could qualify as an exception or be otherwise explained in your visa application.

#3: Obtain References and Written Advisory Opinion

You need to confirm your eligibility for an O or P visa though documentation and evidence. In regards to the O visa scheme, an entertainer must demonstrate distinction in the upper echelon of his or her field. As well, an entertainer cannot petition for his or her O visa, but must utilize a U.S. agent or company that provides this support. An LA immigration lawyer can collect all of this evidence and paperwork prior to filing your application.

Documentation for a P visa is a different process. Before the application for a P visa can be submitted a U.S. employer or supporting organization must provide a written advisory opinion. This advisory opinion must confirm the entertainer’s qualifications and nature of the performances in the United States. This written advisory opinion must accompany any application or petition for a P visa.

#4: Submit Application Form DS-160

All non-immigration visas, including student visas and employment visas, utilize the same application form – this is form DS-160. An LA immigration lawyer will compile the documentation, verbal and written information you provide, and other evidence to complete DS-160. This application, and all supporting documents are then submitted to a US embassy or consulate in your home country.

An LA immigration lawyer must also provide a printed copy of the submitted application, as you will need to bring the printed application to your interview in step 5.

#5: Interview at the US Embassy or Consulate

You can’t obtain an entertainment visa for the United States without interviewing at a US embassy or consulate in your home country. This interview is by appointment only, and an LA immigration lawyer can help you submit the appropriate form and information to schedule your interview. Once you request an interview, it is typically granted within five to 15 days of your request. However, there can be delays in locations or countries that have a high volume of non-immigration applications or only a single location to interview.

As well, an LA immigration lawyer can help you prepare for your interview at the US embassy or consulate. The questions asked frequently depend on the specifics of your application, but an experienced immigration lawyer can accurately assess what might be of concern to an immigration interviewer.

After your interview, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services component of the Department of Homeland Security will render a decision

#6: Enter the United States

Obtaining an entertainment visa is a necessary requirement for entering the United States to perform or participate in cultural exchange. However, simply having a visa doesn’t guarantee entry into the United States. You must still pass through immigration and border protection at a U.S. port of entry, such as an international airport and sufficiently answer the questions of an immigration officer. An LA immigration lawyer can help you prepare for this process and identify any issues that may impede your entry.

As well, if you have difficulty at a port of entry, an LA immigration lawyer should be your first phone call. If you are ready to work with a top immigration lawyer in LA for your entertainment or other employment visa, contact Greco Neyland Attorneys at Law. Our LA office is available by phone at 213-295-3500.

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