There is no doubt that the music scene in Los Angeles is hard to beat. With world-class studios, producers, record companies, venues, television opportunities, and more, it is no surprise that many musicians want to live and work in L.A. If you are a citizen of a foreign country and you work as a successful musician, chances are the need will arise to travel to Southern California to work, for which you will need a musician visa – known as the O-1 visa.
Spending time working in Los Angeles as a foreign national is not always easy. If you do not obtain the proper visas, you can catch the attention of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), especially if you are a relatively high-profile name in the music industry. For this reason, you always want to apply for and obtain the correct visa that will allow you to work in the U.S. for as long as you need to.
Applying for a Musician Visa
An O-1 visa is awarded to individuals who have recognized extraordinary abilities in the arts, which definitely includes music. For this reason, you will need to obtain this type of visa if you have a music job to complete in the United States. The record label, studio, or venue hiring you will have to petition the USCIS for this type of visa before you can lawfully work as a musician in the country.
The application process can be complicated for a musician visa, however. The petitioner cannot simply claim that you have extraordinary abilities in music and expect an immediate approval. Instead, certain evidence must be provided to prove your exceptional abilities and/or acclaim. For example, the following must be demonstrated:
- You have won a Grammy Award or another significant award in music
- You have performed under distinguished and respected circumstances
- You have had commercial success with your albums or other forms of music
- You have received critical acclaim
- You command a high salary for your work as a musician
If you are world-famous, demonstrating your requisite abilities for a musician visa can be simple. However, if you are successful in foreign countries though lesser-known in the United States, this can be more difficult. You and your intended employer should always discuss the application requirements and procedures with an experienced immigration attorney in Los Angeles to ensure you successfully receive your necessary visa. An attorney can help make sure your projects are not delayed unnecessarily due to immigration issues.
Discuss Your Case With a Los Angeles Entertainment Industry Attorney
If you are a musician from a foreign country and you have the opportunity to create an album, plays shows, or work on other projects in Los Angeles, you should not delay in talking to a highly experienced Los Angeles immigration lawyer who understands how to obtain O-1 visas for qualified musicians. At the Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein, P.C., we will help you through every stage of the musician visa application process and will appeal a denial, if needed. Please call our office at 213-262-2000 to learn more about our visa services today.