Doomed to inactivity??
July 17, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

EU artist's work visa in the US, newest possible edition

I'm supposed to be playing one concert (or, planning pending, a few - altogether less than a handful) as a soloist against payment in the US. I'm German.

I've been trying to understand the accumulated web-wisdom about US visa for individual traveling musicians, especially the various types of O and P visa (it's not easy - hence my question).

I'm a bit baffled about the non-options that present themselves. Above all, it appears that the fee for obtaining the document (not even sure yet which document - likely the O - visa for individual outstanding artists. Heh yeah.), together with the train ticket (which I will have to buy to go to the next US embassy to fetch it in person), will by FAR exceed whatever I'll ever earn.

So I am inclined to skip payment and play at that place (which is professionally interesting to me) for, say, a paid night in a hotel, and in exchange for the networking opportunity.

My question: I have encountered reports that professional musicians are not entitled to play at all no matter whether for payment or not. So in this case, I would simply not be allowed to play, full stop. (amateurs, it seems on the other hand, may enter on a tourist visa and do whatever they well please.)

Is there any expert in the hall who could tell me if this is correct or not, who could inform me about the latest wisdom on the matter, and/or who could tell me me what my options really are?

(fwiw it's about a harpsichord recital in Colonial Williamsburg)
posted by Namlit to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This website tends to be pretty reliable, and makes me think that you're right- you probably can't perform if you're not on here on an O-1. The good thing about getting an O-1, despite the hassle and the cost, is that once you have one it's generally easier to get subsequent ones when you need them.

I'm not a lawyer, but I work at an immigration law firm that specializes in O-1s, so if you want contact info for someone who can help with brainstorming your options, feel free to send me a message.
posted by kelseyfrost at 6:00 PM on July 17, 2012

Well, that was discouraging but very helpful. Many thanks.
posted by Namlit at 12:29 AM on July 18, 2012

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