EB-1A Green Card for Musicians

If you have won a major internationally acclaimed award then you would be an obvious candidate for an EB1A green card.

The most obvious and well known American awards in the area of entertainment are an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, an Emmy, SAG and the Golden Globes.

For the EB-1 musician category you do not have to win an American award – as long as the award is highly regarded internationally.

If you have not yet won a major award then, it’s still possible to qualify as USCIS has created ten categories of excellence and as long as you can objectively satisfy three of them your petition should be approved.

The following categories are applicable to Musicians applying in the EB-1 category.

Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence:

The key here is to emphasize the value associated with these awards and the processes for choosing recipients.

Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts:

Evidence includes box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, (digital downloads) or video sales. The location of the performance is an important distinction (think a local bar/coffee house vs  Broadway, Madison Square Garden, The Royal Albert Hall, the West End and O2, etc.). It must be shown that the applicant is sufficiently and closely associated with the cause of that success to and that the success was in large part due to their contribution to the project.

Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcase:

Discussion involves around How were you selected? What was the selection protocol? Was the event well publicized in the press? Why was it considered distinguished?

Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel:

Evidence includes documentation that would confirm that you have served individually or on a panel to judge the of work of others in the same or an allied field. Notes that the applicant does not have to prove that his selection as a judge was as a result of his extraordinary abilities.

Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their member:

A qualifying membership will be one that requires a vetting or review process. If working in a particular field and paying membership dues is all that is required, such memberships will not satisfy this particular criteria.

Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field:

If you are working in the US under a Visa, the 2010 USCIS Practice Memorandum provides 3 data sources that may be used for comparison. These are the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor’s Career One Stop, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification Online Wage Library.

If you are outside the U.S. you must show that you make a high salary relative to others in your field in the country you are working in. You will want to find the most high-profile data sources you can (government data preferred) in your country and see how you compare.

At a minimum you need to meet or exceed the 90th percentile or “high” figure (Level 4 Wage for the Foreign Labor Certification database).

Recommendation / Support Letters:

Contributions are to be reinforced through the testimony of exceptional talents and authorities in the field of music through support letters. At least 6 recommendation letters.

Required documents:

  • A brief description of your field and what you think makes you stand out from others in your field
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Playbills/programs/posters
  • Press clippings
  • Images of your artwork showcased
  • Reviews
  • Copies of original works (CDs or DVDs, scores…)
  • Receipts or other evidence of sales (CDs sold, Downloads sold, tickets sold.)
  • Emails from prospective venues, agents, managers, etc.
  • Evidence of judging music competitions
  • A list of references, with contact information, who are willing to contribute a letter to your petition. Please include at least six people, three of which are independent (i.e. people who you have never worked or collaborated with.) It is preferred that your references come from a variety of institutions, agencies or clubs. They can be from any country as long as they are qualified to comment on your work. Reference letters written for you in the past year.
  • Any other documentation you think might help show the reaction of the music community to your work – this is a key question, and we can work with you to brainstorm ideas for how to demonstrate the reaction of the music community.

If you would like a free evaluation please send us your resume and summary of qualifying evidence:

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