If you are searching for a way to pursue acting in the U.S., you may have been researching the O-1 visa for Extraordinary Ability. However, depending on your goals and qualifications, you may find that the EB-1 visa for actors suits your needs better.
If you qualify for both visas based on your accomplishments, you may have difficulty choosing between them. Here are the major differences between the O-1 and EB-1 visa for actors:
- An O-1 visa application takes far less time to process (typically 4-6 weeks) than an EB-1 visa.
- The EB-1 visa takes between 12-14 months to process, during which time the applicant is responsible for providing additional documentation proving his abilities to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- To apply for an O-1 visa, you must have a sponsor (or agent) and at least one job booked in the U.S.
- For the EB-1 actor visa, you do not need a sponsor and do not need to have an employer before applying.
Length of stay
- The O-1 visa is a short-term visa. Petitioners may stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 3 years and must renew their visas each year to maintain legal residency.
- The EB-1 visa is an immigration visa, meaning you would receive a United States green card. You would need to continue working to maintain residency, but would be able to live permanently in the U.S.
Both Extraordinary Ability visas for actors require that you demonstrate a recognized proficiency in the arts by providing USCIS with extensive documentation.