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Essentials and Basics

This is a practical guide to U.S. immigration law and procedures governing the principal nonimmigrant work-related visa categories artists from abroad must use when entering the U.S. to work. We begin, though, with notes of caution:

  1. This guide covers much but it cannot cover everything! The information below is not legal advice. For specific advice on a specific matter, contact a qualified immigration attorney.
  2. To make best use of this guide, at least read it once through, thoroughly. The subject matter, not especially complex from a legal perspective, is highly interdependent. A rudimentary understanding of the basic concepts is essential as following the checklists alone will not provide all the information you need.
  3. Check the Appendix for additional information and details on many topics.
  4. Even under normal circumstances, USCIS petition and consular visa application policies and procedures are prone to change, and fees to increase, with little warning. It pays to check the USCIS and consular websites regularly.
  5. In addition to much practical information in the main text, we include useful information, including contact information, tips, and blank and sample forms in the appendix. Feel free to photocopy or scan the blank forms, all of which are also available in PDF format from the websites of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs websites.