The pandemic has done little to stop the art world from thriving. Museums and theaters around the country are reopening as more people look for ways to get out of their homes and support the arts. This increase in demand has led to a corresponding increase in artist visas. We also are seeing a spike in demand for artists amongst recruitment agencies. Artists looking for a way to live and work in the United States now have a great opportunity!
Unprecedented Growth in The Arts Post-Covid
The arts have always been a critical part of human culture. In times of hardship and upheaval, they can provide solace, hope, and a way to connect with others. The past year has been no different. Despite the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the arts have continued to thrive. The National Endowment for the Arts report shows that Americans participated in the arts at record levels in 2020. With the quarantine behind us (fingers crossed), museums and theaters around the country are reopening, and people are eager to get out of their homes and support the arts.
In addition, recruitment agencies see a spike in demand for artists. Companies and organizations are looking for creative talent to help them communicate their messages and connect with their audiences. This makes perfect conditions for those looking to pursue their artistic dreams and work in the United States. Many opportunities are available, but do you know how to take advantage of them?
What Is an "Artist Visa"?
Artist visas allow foreign nationals to perform or teach their craft in the United States. You will need a job offer from a United States employer to qualify for most employment-based immigration options. A self-petition can, however, be submitted by those applying for EB-1 visas for "priority workers." This means you can apply for and potentially get an EB-1 visa without an offer of employment.
As an artist, you must demonstrate your "extraordinary abilities" in your field to qualify for an EB-1 visa. All types of arts professionals, including performing artists, visual artists, fine artists, and chefs, are eligible for EB-1 visas.
Some examples of the types of artist our firm have helped include:
Many other types of artists can qualify to apply for the artist visa, so if you're not sure if you qualify, we encourage you to reach out to an experienced immigration lawyer who specializes in helping artists.
Eligibility for Artist Visas
Generally, all craftspeople involved in an art form are eligible, not just those who are "above the line." If they demonstrate extraordinary ability in their profession, artists in "below the line" positions, such as choreographers, makeup designers, coaches, and technicians, may qualify for the EB-1 visa.
You must provide evidence of continuing national or international recognition to prove extraordinary ability when petitioning for an EB-1 visa. Additionally, you must demonstrate that leaders in your field recognize, celebrate, and honor your work.
For an EB-1 visa as an artist, you must meet at least three of the following criteria:
- Professional colleagues recognize your significant contributions to your field.
- You have received national or international awards for excellence.
- You have served as a leader in one or more professional organizations in your field.
- You are a member of a professional organization that requires you to demonstrate exceptional ability and achievement in your field.
- You have judged professional competitions in your field.
- Major publications have published articles about you and your work.
- You have secured a high salary or rate of pay relative to others in your field.
- Exhibits, galleries, or showcases have featured your work.
- You have achieved commercial success in your field.
If you are interested in applying for an artist visa or any other work visa, it is highly recommended to seek the legal guidance of an immigration lawyer.
Let J & K Law Help You Get Your Visa
The J & K Law team is experienced in helping foreign nationals obtain artist visas. We will work with you to create a comprehensive petition demonstrating your extraordinary ability and making a case for why you should be granted the visa. We look forward to helping you realize your dreams!
If you're interested in applying for an artist visa or have questions about the process, don't hesitate to ask us questions via our online contact form or by calling (212) 390-1024.