As a San Francisco immigration lawyer, I regularly help actors who wish to work in the United States and I understand how confusing the process can seem. Basically, the information you provide to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) depends on the type of visa for which you are applying. While there are many EB visa forms, actors will usually apply for an EB-1 visa—Extraordinary Ability, first preference.
Many of the documents you will provide to the USCIS will involve evidence of your extraordinary ability as a performer. If you have sufficiently demonstrated your qualifications, you will have essentially addressed your ability to find work and continue working in the United States. This means you will NOT have to go through the process of:
- Proving employment. Although an EB-1 visa is employment-based, you do not need to have a job offer to be approved. USCIS accepts that you are highly qualified and are likely to find employment.
- Labor certification. Some EB applicants (EB-2 and EB-3) will have to complete a labor certification process to prove there are no qualified U.S. workers who could potentially fill the positions for which you qualify. As an EB-1 visa applicant, you are demonstrating that you are uniquely positioned to perform your role.