Canadian Musician - May/June 2023 | Page 47

Performance Rights Organization ( example , SESAC , BMI , SOCAN , ASCAP or international equivalent ), GLAAD , a fashion brand , a demo for an instrument brand , or another organization . This factor is some-what flexible . For example , if you ’ re a songwriter or artist and have written a song that ends up in a trailer for a TV show , we can submit information concerning the trailer to help fulfill this factor .
If you ’ re including testimonials or letters for this factor , make sure they include details such as the credentials of the author of the letter , details about your achievements , and the author ’ s basis of knowledge of your role .
HOT TIP : testimonials or letters that describe your personal characteristics , qualities , skills and / or talents are not sufficient . You could have the voice of Celine Dion or play guitar like Jeff Healey , but it does not matter ! The letters need to identify specific achievements which garnered you significant recognition in your field .
Commercial Acclaim or Success . Ratings , ratings , ratings — did your song hit Billboard top 100 , college radio charts ? Are you charting nationally and internationally ? This is where to include allllllll of that data . Did you get a gold or platinum record ? What , congrats ! Include that info too ! Heck , take a pic of your plaque or contact Music Canada or a related organization and print up the mock-up of your plaque !
HOT TIP : if you ’ re an artist and you ’ re performing in a country where you still find you ’ re selling physical albums ( LPs , EPs , singles etc .), make sure you ’ re recording your physical off-stage sales . Countries have different systems to do this . In the U . S . and Canada , you can use Nielsen SoundScan through the atVenu system to report this data . Sometimes you have to pay an annual fee to be able to record sales , which can add up , but if you ’ re attempting to qualify for a visa , this data is helpful .
Remuneration Do you get that cash money for what you do ? That ’ s an important factor ! You can submit evidence showing you have commanded or do command a high salary or substantial payment for what you do in comparison to others in your field .
Evidence of this includes : copies of contracts , equity in lieu of cash for services is ok !, statistical comparisons of salaries in your field from a government or private institution or similar organization compared to others in your field , and testimony from industry experts .
For statistical comparisons , try searching :
Bureau of Labor Statistics : http :// www . bls . gov / bls / blswage . htm Department of Labor Career One Stop websites : http :// www . careeronestop . org / SalariesBenefits / Sal _ default . aspx ; or the Department of Labor ’ s Office of Foreign Labor Certification Online Wage Library : http :// www . flcdatacenter . com
If you can show three of the six above successfully , USCIS deems that you have demonstrated extraordinary ability in the field of art , and your Petition for a visa will be granted .
If you do not or USCIS feels they need more information , you may get another chance . USCIS may send you a letter requiring additional information to process your application , and you can provide more evidence or information in support of your Petition . If you ’ ve attempted this process yourself and you have a chance to submit supplemental information , I would recommend having an attorney help you assemble a supplemental packet .
Fees and Costs To File : Here are the approximate costs to file an O-1B visa . Fees can change and range ! Attorney Fees : Start around $ 5000.00 USD + and can range depending on if you have support personnel or a spouse and dependents who will also be coming with you . Filing Fees : Filing fees paid to USCIS can change . Make sure to reach out to us or check the USCIS website . However , right now , the fees are :
Regular Fee : $ 460.00 USD Expedited ( Rush ) Fee : $ 460.00 ( Regular Fee ) + $ 2,500.00 USD
Advisory letters of support can range from approx . $ 250-350.00 USD
Make sure to budget an additional $ 200.00 USD for copies and postage
HOT TIP : Start working on your Petition EARLY . As you can see , a lot of time goes into acquiring the evidence and information required for your Petition .
If you have essential personnel ( such as an artist manager , business manager , creative director ), you can apply for an O-2 visa for them to accompany you and assist with your work . Support personnel require a separate fee .
If you have a spouse or child , you can petition for them to accompany you via an O-3 visa . Your spouse cannot work in the U . S ., but they can study part-time or full time .
Business Meeting or Conference in the U . S .?
If you are a musician or music professional going to the U . S . for business meetings or a conference without being paid , citizens from certain countries such as Canadian citizens do not require visitor , business , transit or other visas to enter the United States , either from Canada or from other countries , UNLESS the person is working in the United States . There are , however , some exceptions to this situation .
Best of luck and safe travels !
Dani Oliva is an artist advocate , speaker , and music attorney focused on helping talented creators thrive in the music business . He is the VP of Business and Legal Affairs for Q & A Media , Inc . Follow Dani
@ olivaesq http :// www . olivaesq . com .