You are considering coming to the U.S. under an extraordinary ability visa, but the process is frustrating and confusing. There are so many questions and options that you’re not sure which road is right for you—or even which designation would apply to you. For instance, can you have someone apply for a visa on your behalf who is not an employer? If you can, then what information do you need to provide to USCIS?
While the answer is not exactly simple, or attorneys can help explain how petitioners can use an O visa agent to apply on his behalf. Generally speaking, a U.S. agent may be your employer of the beneficiary, a representative of your employer, or someone who is authorized to work on your behalf.
In some cases, a beneficiary will have an agent for multiple employers. Actors, musicians, and other performers will typically use talent agents for booking their U.S. appearances, arranging short-term employment across numerous employers. If this applies to you, there are a number of documents your agent must include with your I-129 petition, such as:
- Proof of agency – Your agent must clearly establish that he is able and authorized to transact business for multiple employers, and that he is authorized to work on your behalf.
- Copies of contracts – Your O visa agent should provide a copy of all agreements made between you and your actual employers and the beneficiary, including an explanation of the terms and conditions of the employment—such as pay scale and specific services provided.
- Performance schedules – You will need to compose a complete itinerary of the events and venues where you will be providing services, including specific dates, times, and locations of each engagement. It is beneficial to include the names and addresses of each employer, as well as the contact information of each performance establishment.
Once your visa petition has been approved by USCIS, you will be able to obtain your visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your native country. However, if you wish to have your family members accompany you, you will have to apply for separate visas for each family member and establish that each member is eligible to join you as you work in the U.S.