Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

EB1 Green Card 8 C.F.R. 204.5(h) (3) – Have You Played a Leading or Starring Role in any Show that has been Commercially Successful?

EB1 Green Card - If you have been the star of any kind of show in the performing arts and that show has done really well then this category may be just right for you.

EB1 Green Card - If you have been the star of any kind of show in the performing arts and that show has done really well then this category may be just right for you.

Commercial Success in the Performing Arts

EB1 Check List:

Evidence of Eligibility: 8 C.F.R. 204.5(h) (3)

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

For EB1 green card purposes many clients have had a degree of commercial success in the performing arts. The key is determining whether the alien is sufficiently and closely associated with the cause of that success to persuade the EB1 green card examiner that the success was in no small part due to my client’s contribution. Some contributions are more readily accepted than others.  For example, let’s say you’re a lead actor in a hit TV show, film or play then as long as you role is well credited and we can show the gross receipts, ratings or rankings in a favorable light then we’re in good stead.

Similarly, if my client is one part of a four piece chart topping band called “Hard Rock Café” then even if my client is the drummer as opposed to the front lead singer he can claim equal billing and thus EB1 green card credit.

The question becomes more subjective and open to persuasion as to whether people like Hard Rock Café’s sound engineer who mixed their last platinum selling album could also claim ‘evidence of commercial success…..’? I would argue, possibly, because the band’s sound is controlled by the sound engineer and thus a direct contribution to the album selling well. How about, if Hard Rock Café’s caterer tried to claim on this EB1 green card category? I would argue no, because the caterer’s role has absolutely nothing to do with the production of the product that has been commercially successful.

How far removed one can be from the direct performing art must be narrowly curtailed and instead the focus should be the other way around; the closer the alien is to playing a leading part in the performance of the art form the more likely they will be credited with having satisfied this category if the end result was commercially successful.

Authors of any successful performing art production should be automatically considered within this category, the question will then turn to how successful must a production to be considered objectively successful. These are some of the many interesting discussions I would need to have with my client depending on the precise nature of their art.  A general consideration would be looking for indicators such as the location of the performance: the local village hall vs. The Royal Albert Hall, O2 or some other highly prestigious venue or stadium.

This EB1 green card category is looking for financial success as an indicator of the alien’s extraordinary ability – ‘show me the money’. There are many artists who are maybe not that well known, perhaps they have not won many or any awards but have steadily made a significant amount of money – commercial successes in the performing arts, so I have to consider every client’s case uniquely.

We also have to consider the relativity of the artist work in comparison to other artists in the same field. For example, a playwright may make significantly less money than a songwriter whose songs may have sold hundreds of thousands because of airplay. The goal here will be to ensure that the EB1 green card examiner does not purely look at a numerical amount of commercial success, but see put the earnings in some relative context.

The key here is to allow us to explore with you to see if this category is good for you. Obviously if your extraordinary ability is not even in the performing arts then this category will be a non-starter, but there are ten categories to choose from and you only need three to possibly win.

Remember, EB1 green card immigration is not merely an attempt to try and satisfy three categories per se, we have to do much better than that; we have to spend the time to push the envelop because cases are won or lost depending on how well the evidenced submitted for the EB1 green card examiner is compiled, corroborated and documented. As your attorney this is precisely what I spend every day doing for my clients.

By Attorney Chris M. Ingram 

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
520 Broadway, Suite 350,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292


Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients. 


General Location:  Santa Monica , Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, California, USA.
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