Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Introducing Entertainment Visas

I work with a lot of people from the entertainment industry – it’s really what we love to do.  As a musician myself, and having a Masters Degree in Entertainment Contracts Law, I have a lot of passion for people looking to relocate to the US in pursuit of  getting to the next level.  It was through working in the entertainment law industry why I ended up in Los Angeles. In a nutshell my brother was an Ivor Novello award winning song writer who co-wrote a song with an up and coming recording artist Des’ree called “You Gotta Be”.  This record was an international hit especially in the US. My brother was head-hunted by Sony and BMI to work in the US. I had just finished my English Solicitor’s exams when I was first started working with my brother and was also busy working on my Masters Degree.

Once I’d finished my Masters, my brother was already in the US and on an O1 visa. I came to the US with my family as my brother’s Business Affairs Manager, and I came in on the O2 visa.  Later on I decided to set up my own immigration law firm and since then I’ve been helping many people from the entertainment industry in film and television, as well as the music industry to live and work here.  I absolutely love what my team and I are able to do.

US Immigration is very keen to help people from within the entertainment industry relocate to the US since the US is responsible for most of the biggest films ever made and has some of the highest selling recording artists in the world. To achieve this double feat, talent from around the world is needed at every level.

The O1 visa is reserved for aliens of extraordinary ability. What US Immigration is saying here is that they’ll roll out the red carpet if you can claim to be working at the very top of the profession in your field. So, if you’re a musician and you’ve not established a large following as can be evidenced in high record sales, awards and press coverage then it would be difficult for you to qualify. This having been said, if your work is highly written about in the press but due to the nature of the music it is not likely that you would have sold a lot of records, then you may still qualify.  I’ve prepared some guides with clear criteria for you to review. This will help you to pre-qualify yourself  as to whether or not you stand a good chance at successfully making an O1 application.  I guess, in essence, if many independent people are writing about the work that you do in various magazines and trade journals, then this is a very strong indicator amongst many that you’re in the game.

The O1 visa is for anyone working in the arts, for the purposes of this article. So whether you are working backstage, in front of or behind the camera, or if you’re somehow involved in major productions then the O1 visa may be right for you. Let me give you some examples.  A good friend of mine worked in the audio department on a film called Shrek, and he had an O1 visa. Another worked in the lighting department on Monsters vs. Aliens and other blockbuster movies, and he too had an O1 visa. I have clients who do make up for celebrities or who edit commercials and movies.  Then there are the boy and girl bands.  In other words, if you’re working on major projects within the entertainment industry – then call me.

The P1-P3 class of visas are a second tier down from being extraordinary ability visas. There are many people who have been invited to come to the US to do some form of entertainment exhibition showcasing some cultural experience. For example, we may have a party of thirty dancers from a region or Africa or India showcasing dance, crafts, arts, or even food. This would also include orchestras from around the world who are touring the US. These aliens may not be internationally well known, perhaps only regionally known in their own country. US Immigration welcomes such aliens because their arts enrich the lives of US citizens. We currently have clients who are fine artists now working with the Russell Philanthropic Foundation helping under-privileged kids from Harlem in New York.

For those aliens who wish to settle in the US permanently they will need a green card. The EB1 green card is specifically designated to help aliens of extraordinary ability settle in the US.  EB1 applicants must be able to demonstrate, as with the O1, by objective measurements, that they are working at the highest levels in their profession.  When we initially interview clients it’s not always readily apparent that they meet the required standards, but after careful consideration, discussion and planning we’re often able to polish that diamond in the rough into winning an O1 or EB1 case.

Please read through our guides on each of the visas and if you would like to take advantage of a free initial consultation please do not hesitate to complete our questionnaire and we’ll get back to you to set up an in depth consultation. We’d love to hear from you.

Entertainment Home Page
O1 and EB1 Entertainment Based Visas
P1-P3 Entertainment – Bands, Groups & Troupes
Success Stories
Visa Approvals


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.

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