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Artist Visa USA • Step-by-Step EB1A Guide for Artists and creatives
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WHY OUR ARTIST GREEN CARD GUIDE IS UNIQUE?

Artist Visa USA offers you the only DIY guide on the internet that is based on a petition of a visual artist. This powerful step-by-step tool enriched with crucial tips, templates, and sample letters will lead you through the whole process from gathering the evidence to receiving your artist green card.

The 160-page guide includes every single detail we learned during two years of meticulous research of immigration law and profound analysis of other individuals’ cases from the creative industry. Our mission is to give any person with extraordinary abilities, regardless of financial situation or country of origin, an opportunity to make it on their own consciously, smartly, and successfully.

OUR MEMBERS SAY

"It was very hard to find any information about EB-1 suitable for fine artists, not scientists. As a visual artist I couldn’t clearly understand how to prepare my petition until I found your DIY guide. I was very happy to use the-ready-made kit based on a real artist’s experience instead of spending lots of time figuring it out myself. The guide contains very comprehensive information as well as includes useful tips, a set of letter samples, templates, and some other features. I can clearly state that this guide is a real example of how much you can get for such a small amount of money."

Thomas Otto (France), Fine Artist

October 2019

"Thank you very much for sharing such precious information. Using your DIY guide, I was able to understand the details of the process, easily prepare the petition itself, and get my Green Card!!! What I loved the most is that the kit also provides a lot of additional information, creative ideas, and tips for proving each criterion. It is absolutely worth the money I spent on it."

Kristina Sanchez (Philippines), Singer/Songwriter

March, 2020

"I want to say how lucky I was to find and use the DIY guide as an example while working on my petition. It made my life much easier and I can’t imagine what I would’ve done without it! I highly recommend it to every person who believes in themselves and wants to save lots of money on hiring a lawyer! You can do it!"

Isabella Marshall (Scotland), Actress

December, 2019

"Thank you again. You made my child's dream come true! I can’t believe I was able to make it myself!"

Yumi Kim (South Korea), Fashion designer

February 19, 2020

"Thank you! My wife, two daughters and I got our green cards two months ago. Now we live in Houston, Texas. I’m not an artist but your DIY guide definitely was extremely helpful and made this complicated process of getting green cards smooth and straightforward. You guys rock!"

Rajesh Kumar (India), Soccer player

December, 2019
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EB1A GREEN CARD FOR ARTISTS OVERVIEW

Before we proceed further it is important to outline the whole process of receiving a permanent resident status or a “green card” through an EB-1A extraordinary ability petition. (Employment-Based Immigration: First Preference.)

This process consists of two major steps:

Step 1. Filling and submission of the form I-140, also known as Petition for an Alien Worker. This is the most important part, in which you provide evidence that you satisfy at least three out of ten criteria and sustained national or international acclaim. The officially approved petition gives you a basis to apply for permanent residency in the USA, which from that point is simply paperwork.

Step 2. Applying for a green card. How to proceed with this step primarily depends on your current place of residency. If you are based in the United States, an approved I-140 petition gives you the right to file for an adjustment of status (form I-485) and literally change your current status to the status of a permanent resident (aka a green card holder).

If you reside outside of the United States, you need to go through the process known as consular processing. The consular processing is a procedure of applying for an immigrant visa (green card) through a U.S. Embassy or consulate in a foreign country. 

Let’s start with step one and examine it in more detail. According to the official definition, EB-1 is the First-Preference Employment-based immigration.

EB-1 has three sub categories:

EB-1A: Extraordinary Ability 

EB-1B: Outstanding professors and researchers

EB-1C: Multinational manager or executive

In this guide we will profoundly examine the EB-1A category that is reserved for foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, or athletics. The main advantage of this category is that you are not required to have a prospective employer or even a job offer. However, you must prove that you will continue working in your professional area as well as the fact that your work will substantially benefit the U.S. Also, you have to show sustained national and/or international acclaim with recognized achievements, which means your achievements should be relatively recent.

The main advantages of EB-1A compared to similar visas, such as O-1, H1-B, and other options:

1.    No offer of employment is required, which means you are allowed to self-petition without an employer. This is especially important for people in the creative industry, where many people have their own businesses or simply work as freelancers.

2.     You do not need to obtain a labor certification — a time-consuming process, which is required for other employment-based categories.

3.    You might be surprised to learn that most of the employment-based categories don’t allow you to file for a green card even if your petition was approved. In certain cases, people wait for more than ten years for their priority date to become current. Luckily it is not the case with the first preference category (unless you are a citizen of India or China). Almost all of the time the priority date is current and you can file for an adjustment of status right after your petition is approved, or even simultaneously. We’ll explain visa availability concept in detail in further chapters. 

Who can be considered as a person with extraordinary abilities in arts?

Surely the first question every potential applicant asks themselves is: How do I determine whether or not I am a person with extraordinary abilities? Extraordinary ability is defined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services as an ability that shows a person as one of the small percentage who have risen to the very top of their field of endeavor. The regulation at 8 CFR 204.5(k)(2) defines exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business as having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.

Arts includes any field of creative activity or endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, culinary arts, and performing arts. Aliens engaged in the field of arts include not only the principal creators and performers but other essential professionals such as directors, set designers, lighting designers, sound designers, choreographers, choreologists, conductors, orchestrators, coaches, arrangers, musical supervisors, costume designers, makeup artists, flight masters, stage technicians, and so on. 

In other words, the extraordinary ability in the field of arts means distinction. Which means a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered, to the extent that a person is described as prominent, renowned, leading, or well-known in the field of arts. 

Despite all the seriousness of this statement you don’t have to be famous. And, certainly, it is not necessary for an applicant to be a Nobel laureate or a winner of an Olympic medal to be a qualified candidate. After you digest this statement your world will be changed forever.

What is the evidence to get an artist green card?

In order to qualify for this category, you need to provide extensive documentation as an evidence to back up your claim. It should be structured according to the regulation criteria, clearly defining all the evidence and their quantity.  

 

Nothing can explain this more clearly than 8 CFR Section 204.5(h)(3):

“Initial evidence. A petition for an alien of extraordinary ability must be accompanied by evidence that the alien has sustained national or international acclaim and that his or her achievements have been recognized in the field of expertise. Such evidence shall include evidence of a one-time achievement (that is, a major, internationally recognized award), or at least three of the following:

 

 1. Documentation of the alien’s receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in the field of endeavor;

 

 2. Documentation of the alien’s membership in associations in the field for which classification is sought, which require outstanding achievements of their members, as judged by recognized national or international experts in their disciplines or fields;

 

 3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media, relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought. Such evidence shall include the title, date, and author of the material, and any necessary translation;

 

4. Evidence of the alien’s participation, either individually or on a panel, as a judge of the work of others in the same or an allied field of specialization for which classification is sought;

 

5. Evidence of the alien’s original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance in the field;

 

 6. Evidence of the alien’s authorship of scholarly articles in the field, in professional or major trade publications or other major media;

 

 7. Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;

 

8. Evidence that the alien has performed in a leading or critical role for organizations or establishments that have a distinguished reputation;

 

9. Evidence that the alien has commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services, in relation to others in the field; or

 

10. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

 

According to 8 CFR Section 204.5(h)(4):  

“If the above standards do not readily apply to the beneficiary’s occupation, the petitioner may submit comparable evidence to establish the beneficiary’s eligibility”.

 

It is important to mention that in 2010 (after the Kazarian case) USCIS issued a memorandum mandated two-step analysis. In step one, the adjudicator determines whether the applicant has received a major award or has satisfied at least three criteria. In step two, an officer will evaluate all provided evidence and analyze if, cumulatively, it proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the beneficiary satisfies the general definition of the category. Later, we will discuss all the components in more detail. 

 

After you demonstrate yourself as an actual person with extraordinary abilities in the field of arts, you should prove that you are coming to the U.S. to continue working in your area of expertise by providing a detailed statement of your working plans. To make your case even stronger you can also provide any pre-arranged commitments like exhibition confirmations, contracts, job offers, letters from prospective employers, and so on.

 

Lastly, you need to demonstrate that your work will substantially benefit the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States due to your exceptional ability in the field of arts.

 

That’s it in a nutshell!

There are two main advantages to preparing this case on your own: Firstly, only you can gather all the required evidence and clearly convey all the meaning of your work, because no one knows your personal story better than yourself. All you need is the right direction.

 

Secondly, during this process you will be living this case. The flow of energy you will create is a highly important part in manifesting your end goal. Your burning desire combined with a positive attitude as well as unquestionable faith, that you will be sending straight to the universe every day while working on this case, will inevitably bring you a desired outcome.

 

Artis Visa Usa guide will provide you with all the necessary tips, directions, and examples to make this process as smooth as possible. Remember that as an artist you have a much more flexible approach on how to provide the requested evidence and we will share with you a significant amount of information on how to use it as your main advantage.

 

In order to succeed, keep in mind that you are a master of your own fate and the captain of your soul. Anything your heart desires is possible. If you take just one step at a time towards your American dream, you will definitely make it! 

If you have more questions, please read our FAQ.

For updates and helpful tips, please visit our BLOG.

rEADY TO BUY?



EB1A ARTIST GUIDE CONTENT

OVERVIEW

● General information about EB-1A and the process of receiving a green card
● General advantages of EB-1A compared to other categories
● What is extraordinary ability in arts?
● The evidence you need to provide to prove it
● Advantages of being an artist
● Law and the way it is applied (everything about two-step analysis)
● Sustain acclaim explained
● O-1 status and the role it plays in getting EB-1A
● Common mistakes and tips to avoid them

SCOPE AND STRUCTURE OF YOUR CASE

● Break down of submission materials
● Understand your chances
     a) How to fit your experience into the required criteria?
     b) Questions to ask yourself
     c) Are three criteria really enough?
● Analyze your chances
● Set clear goals to achieve before submitting the petition
● Timeline of the preparation process
● Do you need an attorney?
● Useful tips

STEP 1

Part 1: Providing the evidence of extraordinary ability

How much is enough? Quality vs quantity?

Legal standard of proof

3 levels of evidence priority

Photocopies or originals?

Comparable evidence 

Objective vs Subjective evidence

Sustained acclaim explained

Detailed analysis of the 10 criteria and how to prove them, not leaving a chance for an RFE (Request for Evidence)

1. Prizes or awards. What is considered and what isn’t? What does the recognized prize or award mean? What qualifies as an award for excellence? What criteria are used to determine national or international status of awards? Details that are better to leave out. Necessary information you need to provide to make sure your award qualifies for this criterion.

2. Membership. What are the requirements for membership that qualify? What do outstanding achievements mean in the context of membership? Who can be considered as a recognized national or international expert? Membership organizations that most likely will not be qualified. Things to keep in mind before applying for membership. Describe your membership in a way that leaves no chances for rejection.

3. Published materials. Know what published materials are qualified for the criterion. Radio and TV appearance — will it help? What are professional and major trade publications? Fine line between major and average media. How to describe and showcase your publications in the best light possible?

4. Judging the work of others. Understand what examiners are looking for. Know experiences that will not qualify. What can fit under the “judging the work of others” definition? Information you need to provide to prove it.

5. Contribution. What is considered an original contribution? Know what is major and what is not. Ways to prove contribution.

6. Scholarly articles. What is a scholarly article? How many is enough? How many citations is enough? Does it need to be peer-reviewed? 

7. Exhibitions. What can be considered an artistic exhibition or showcase? How to prove that the work is yours? What venues qualify? 

8. Critical role. What is leading, and what is critical? Ways to prove distinguished reputation.

9. High salary. How high is enough? Where to find the statistics to compare?

10. Commercial success. Compare correctly. The importance of your role. Ways to prove it.

Part 2: EB1A Recommendation letters 

 

Who and about what?

● Your achievements in the context of recommendation letters

        ● Significance of recommendation letters for each criterion

        ● What should they write about? (broken down by specific criteria)

Who is the right recommender?

Match their expertise with your needs

● Hot to ask a recommendation from people you know/from people you don’t know?

Everything about preparing a recommendation letter draft

          1. Types of letters

          2. General structure, broken down by paragraphs 

          3. Conclusion paragraph and how to avoid the most common mistake that can ruin any letter.

          4. Tips and tricks

          5. Tips on how to write a letter proving your original contribution + Sample

          6. Tips on how to write a letter proving you judged the work of others + Sample 

          7. How to write a letter about your leading role + Sample 

          8. BONUS – Two samples of a general recommendation letter 

          9. Sample of a prospective employer letter 

STEP 2

 

Section 1. EB1A Cover letter

 

General format and structure — the art of storytelling and special techniques to direct the attention of an examiner

● Cover letter sample with comments:

      ● Opening paragraph — First impression goes a long way

      ● Opening statement and evidence for each criterion  

      ● Know how to weave in recommendation letters correctly

How to deal with important information that doesn’t quite fall within any of the categories and how to add a personal touch and where it’s appropriate. 

Section 2. Benefits to the United States and continuing work 

 

How to highlight the importance of your area of expertise

Prove that you will continue to work in the US

Show how your work will benefit the US

Preparing future arrangements

Preparing a personal statement explaining your plans to continue working in your field + Example

Section 3. Conclusion 

Closing remarks formatted correctly to make sure that their decision to approve your petition is the only right choice

Legal closing statement

Exhibits, suggestions, and organizations

BONUS: Exhibit templates

Template #1: Award. Example

Template #2: Exhibitions. Information summary

Template #3: Publications. Information summary (Scholarly articles, similarly)

Template #4: CV. Example

Template #5: Membership organizations. Information summary

Template #6: Organization with distinguished reputation. Information summary 

Template #7: Judging the work of others. Information summary about the event.

Template #8: High Salary. Comparative analysis summary (Commercial success similar)

STEP 3

Filing forms 

I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers explained (with a sample)

Should you file a petition and the application for permanent residency concurrently? What advantages can you expect?

Know where to file and how to pay required fees

Form G-1145. Get e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance by both SMS and email

I-907 — Request for Premium Processing (We’ll explain the benefits and drawbacks)

Approved? Congrats! Proceed to step 4

Got an RFE? Know how to handle it. Get a significant advantage by using a provided template that USCIS officers use to create an RFE

NOID or Denied? It isn’t over, you can still file an appeal!

BONUS. Official government website that provides more extensive and up to date information about your case status than https://egov.uscis.gov

STEP 4 

Filing documents for permanent residency

 

Part 1. Adjustment of status (for those who are already in the US) 

 

Check visa availability (depends on your country or origin)

Gather all the required documents and pay filing fee

Complete I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record examination. Vaccination requirements. What to expect? Where to go? How much to pay?

File I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Where to find instructions? Filled application example 

File I-131 — Advance Parole (ability to travel while your application is pending)

File I-765 — Employment Authorization Document (ability to work while your application is pending)

Biometrics appointment. How? When? What to expect?

Interview. What to expect? How to prepare? Typical questions, real experiences. 

Part 2. Consular Processing

 

National Visa Center processing. Full description

Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) Processing

Pay fees and prepare necessary documents

Filling DS-260 

Medical Examination explained

Interview. Be prepared and know what to expect

Approved? Congrats!

Entering the United States

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