GUIDELINES TO O-1/ O-2 VISAS
DEAL MEMO AND/OR CONTRACT - These documents define the terms of employment (including salary or fee) and position, and must be dated and signed by all relevant parties. There must be a current deal memo/contract between the hiring company(ies) or production(s) and the O-1/O-2 individuals.
APPLICANT’S BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS:
(a) Resume/CV for O-1(s) and O-2(s) (Must be provided)
(b) Printout of previous work. For example www.imdb.com
(c) A combination of news articles and support/reference letters.
(d) If a prior union consultation letter exists please provide a copy of it
Please have all foreign language documents translated into English language in full. Attach certification of translator. SAMPLE TRANSLATOR’S CERTIFICATE:
“Acknowledgment of Translation: I, _____________, declare hereby that the above is a full and correct translation of the attached ______________language document. I am fluent in English and _______ languages and am competent to translate from English to _________________ and vice versa. Name. Date”
CONSULTATION LETTERS/ADVISORY OPINON
Every O-1 petition must be accompanied by a consultation letter from the appropriate labor union (see details below).
Please note that currently the unions charge $250.00 (the exact amount must always be verified, as it changes without notice) for processing consultation letters.
MORE ABOUT SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
O visa petitions must contain substantial supporting documentation of evidence of the beneficiary's accomplishments and artistic ability. The visa classifications for performing artists listed below indicate the customary types of evidence required for foreigners who wish to perform in the United States. Be sure to provide evidence of your credentials as specified under the visa classification applicable to you. Additional, unlisted evidence may also be submitted, if you feel such evidence demonstrates your accomplishments and artistic ability and is comparable to the types of proof specified. To assist the immigration adjudicators evaluating the merit of your performance and its impact on working conditions, you must obtain the opinions of U.S. labor unions (e.g., the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild, etc.). Clearly, this requirement is to your disadvantage (as it was intended to be) unless you are renowned in your particular field. Do not be overly concerned, however, since these opinions are only advisory. When a motion picture or television production is involved, a second consultation from a management association is required. Sometimes this organizations charge fees for writing the AO.
Remember that you can enhance your application and offset the potential impact of an adverse union opinion if you submit "favorable" opinions (i.e., letters of recommendation) from recognized professional U.S. arts associations, management organizations or individual experts in your particular artistic field. When requesting an advisory opinion, don't be modest. Flaunt your accomplishments and artistic qualities. If you are relatively unknown to American audiences, focus on enhancing your petition by submitting local reviews, articles or other materials that attest to your talent and the quality of your performances.
You qualify for an O-1 visa if you have received or been nominated for a significant national or international award such as an Academy Award, an Emmy, a Grammy or a Directors Guild Award, OR if you have documented evidence (critical reviews, publication releases, playbills, contracts, etc.) of at least three of the following accomplishments. You have:
1. Performed, or will perform, a lead or starring role in a production or event having a distinguished reputation;
2. Achieved national or international recognition;
3. Performed a lead, starring or critical role for organizations that have a distinguished reputation;
4. Achieved major commercial or critical success;
5. Received significant recognition for achievements from organizations, critics, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field; or Commanded, or now command, a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services in relation to others in the field.
**An O-1 visa is approved for up to a maximum of three years for a specific performance, film shoot or tour, but extensions, if necessary, can be requested. There is no limit to the number of extensions you may request.