Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

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EB1 Case Manager Training – Understanding PM-602-0005.1 – Commercial Success

Commercial Success

The commercial success category is limited to the performing arts only.

The commercial success category is another one that is specific to only a few industries, in this case the performing arts. The performing arts could include commercial success in film or on-stage performances as well as CD / record sales.

In this category, you will see evidence such as ticket sales or even platinum records. In fact, platinum record awards are among the best pieces of evidence to provide in satisfaction of this category because it is a honor given specifically for a high number of record sales.

While this category is specific to the performing arts industry, it is not specific to the actual performing artists. Most actors, singers, musicians, etc have a large staff supporting them and their projects, and those who have played a critical role in supporting these individuals may also be able to satisfy this category. For example, the creative director on an album is incredibly important to its success, and a platinum record will also be offered to that individual as well as the performer.

Let’s look at a list of the requirements first.

(1) Evidence of the volume of sales and box office receipts

(a) Box office receipts from production (if applicable)

(b) Sales receipts from production (if applicable)

(c) Supporting evidence of the alien’s critical role in the success of the production

(d) Press about the role played by the alien

(2) The volume of sales and box office receipts are high compared to other similar pursuits in the performing arts

(a) Box office success of similar production(s) (if applicable)

(b) Sales receipts of similar production(s) (if applicable)

In developing the evidence for this category, you again need to think about what you are trying to prove as well as what evidence of the clients commercial success exists. Below is an outline of the possible evidence that could be used to satisfy this category.

(1) Evidence of the volume of sales and box office receipts

Like with many of our categories, this one is separated into two parts; in this first section, we are focusing on the specific production or event that our client was a part of.

(a) Box office receipts from production (if applicable)

If you are working with an actor who was in a box office hit, the box office receipts that show how it compared to other films that opened at the same time, as well as other films in a similar genre can be used to satisfy this category. This type of evidence would also be required a for a stage performance.

The box office details are published in press reports, and can be found relatively easily. Generally the reports will outline the best sellers for an particular weekend, or the success of a film specifically.

(b) Sales receipts from production (if applicable)

If we are providing evidence to support the commercial success of a music production, such as an album or song, we will need to show sales records. In most cases, this will be gold or platinum records as this is the very best indicator of record and album sales.

You would not only need to show the award for record or album sales, but you would need to find out a bit about the organization that issues the awards so that you can properly show US Immigration how many sales actually occurred. For example in the US, the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) issues platinum records to those artists who have sold more than a million records. You would need to provide evidence to establish this context for US Immigration when presenting the platinum record sales award.

(c) Supporting evidence of the alien’s critical role in the success of the production

If the client is the actual performer, this will not be necessary as we can show a film or album credit, however, if our client has any type of behind the scenes role, such as director, producer, composer, creative director, etc, we will want to develop a letter that discusses their role in the production and why their work specifically contributed to the commercial success of the production.

More often than not, you will have a critical role letter that establishes this already, and it can be used in this section, however, if not, you will need to get a letter that ties the client to the project.

(d) Press about the role played by the alien

Platinum records are a good example of evidence to show commercial success.

As you have continuously seen, we will want to research any press that may have been written about the client in relation to the commercial success of the production or the role that they played in the production. The idea here is that if our client is discussed as a part of this production in the press, then they must certainly be important. By establishing our client’s importance to the event, we can make the connection that they were responsible for the commercial success.

(2) The volume of sales and box office receipts are high compared to other similar pursuits in the performing arts

Now that we have established the success our client’s production has seen, we need to provide comparisons to show that the commercial success is high compared to other productions.

(a) Box office success of similar production(s) (if applicable)

As we discussed above, you will be find press establishing the box office number of many films, and in these reports, you will also see other films that opened the same weekend; this would be one type of comparative information. You should also seek data of similar types of films to show a production’s success when compared to similar productions.

(b) Sales receipts of similar production(s) (if applicable)

There is often no limit to the number of sales records, ie platinum records, that are given, but in these types of cases the award is enough quantifiable evidence to establish that there is commercial success.

In other stage performances that may be smaller, however, you may want to show the sales of similar productions at the same venue. This may be especially true for musical performances or dance performances. Remember – because every industry is different, USCIS will be looking to establish that the performance is success in comparison to others in the field.

Conclusion

This is a rarely used category due to the limitations on the applicable industries as well as the type of evidence that can be provided. That being said, anytime you are working with a client who played a significant role in a highly successful film, concert series or album, you can consider this category provided you can develop the evidence.

Practical Exercise – Print 3 Sample Arguments

As you print these, you should keep them on hand as a reference. Not only will you see the evidence that is provided, but you will see what your argument writer will be putting together on behalf of the client.

Print the following case(s):

                        Tom Bird

                        Kathy Phillips

                        Jeff Prewett

You will need to study each argument and the evidence presented. These cases were selected deliberately to give you a cross section of the types of clients we work with, as well as the various ways we can present evidence to satisfy a category. Obviously an oil and gas engineer will vary significantly from a creative director, and it is important that you are able to develop evidence to ensure all types of cases are successful.