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I am an artist and I want to apply for an O-1B visa. What does extraordinary ability in arts mean? What is the definition of “arts”?

By April 10, 2020March 23rd, 2021Extraordinary Ability, Immigration
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f you are an artist and you want to apply for an O-1B visa, you will have to demonstrate that:

  • You have an extraordinary ability in the arts which has been demonstrated by national or international acclaim, and
  • You are coming to the U.S. to continue working in the area of extraordinary ability

What does extraordinary ability in the field of arts mean? Do I have to prove that I am in the top of my field?

In order to prove extraordinary ability in the field of arts, you will have to demonstrate “distinction” – a high level of achievement in the field of arts evidence by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. This means, that you will have to demonstrate that you are prominent in your field of endeavor.

What is the definition of “arts”? What specific fields can be included in this category?

The immigration regulations define arts as “any field of creative activity or endeavor such as, but not limited to, fine arts, visual arts, culinary arts, and performing arts.” This means, that any field of creative activity or endeavor could fall under the definition of “arts”.

In addition, you do not have to be the principal creator or performer to qualify for an O-1B visa, but you could qualify for the O-1B visa also if you are essential person in the field of arts such as a director, set designer, choreographer, lighting designer, sound designer, choreographer, choreologist, conductor, orchestrator, coach, arranger, musical supervisor, costume designer, makeup artist, flight master, stage technician, or animal trainer.

Please note that these are just some examples of certain fields of arts, but any field of creative activity or endeavor could meet the O-1B requirement.

For example, our firm has successfully processed O-1B applications for example for architects, interior designers, social media influencers and brand designers.

How do I prove that I have extraordinary ability in arts?

  1. You have received, or been nominated for, significant national or international awards or prizes in the particular field, such as an Academy Award, Emmy, Grammy or Director’s Guild Award, or
  2. You meet at least 3 of these criteria

If you want to read more about the O-1B visa, please visit our blog.

If you want to find out whether you are qualified for an O-1B visa, please click here.

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