Are you a model living abroad wanting to work and live in the United States? Do you want to gain more exposure in a new market? Are you interested in receiving a higher compensation for your work while living in the U.S.? There are several manners of entry available for these people. Professional modeling agencies in the United States protect the interest of their clients by assuring that the models they represent are able to legally work in the U.S. American citizens and lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) have the right to work in the U.S. However, everyone else must have a work visa to be able to do so. Though there are many visas available to enter the U.S., there are specific visas available for models.
U.S. Immigration laws actually offer a specific visa to foreign models who have an employment (modeling agency) offer in the U.S. and can prove they are of “distinguished merit and ability.” The visa available to them is the H-1b3 visa. The H-1b3 category specifically applies to models who are nationally or internationally recognized for achievements, to be employed in a position requiring someone of distinguished merit and ability. In addition, U.S. Immigration laws even offer lawful permanent residence (the Green Card) to some models as long as they satisfy all the requirements. This article will compare the different benefits and requirements of the H-1b3 visa and seeking lawful permanent residence (the Green Card) through modeling. It’s important to know of these visas to protect yourself against agencies or persons in the industry that offer false promises or quick results. The American Immigration system does not work through short cuts or connections and these people will only put you in a position where you are subject to arrest and deportation for being in this country illegally or with the incorrect visa.
To qualify for the H-1b3 model visa, the model must be able to show he or she is of “distinguished merit and ability.” This may be proven in several ways. For example, the model may submit evidence that he or she received reviews in major newspapers, journals, or magazines or received recognition for achievements from modeling agencies, organizations, or fashion houses, and tear sheets. There are specific requirements for this visa and failure to submit the sufficient and correct amount of evidence may result in a denial of the visa.
In addition, models must show evidence that they are coming to the U.S. to perform services which require a fashion model of prominence. The model must have an employer in the U.S. and the employer (modeling agency) must pay the fashion model at least the prevailing wage for that occupation in the area of intended employment. Freelance work is not accepted to qualify the model for this visa. It’s very important to be aware of these requirements as to not be taken advantage of by persons referring to “short cuts” or “connections” in the government. The U.S. Immigration system does not work that way and these persons are only trying to take your money.
Models that qualify for this visa may live and work in the U.S. for the period required by the employer up to a maximum of 3 years. Before the completion of those 3 years, the model can qualify to extend his or her stay or even change to another visa category. Once the model is inside of the U.S., he or she may qualify to change visa categories or qualify for a Green Card without having to leave the U.S as long as it is done before the H-1b3 modeling visa’s authorized period of stay expires.
The benefits to this visa are that the probability of obtaining one is relatively high. Applicants that submit proof of “distinguished merit and ability,” have a high probability of obtaining the modeling visa. The model visa category does not subject model applicants to the strict requirements of non-immigrant visas. Hence, if the process is done correctly, the model has a much higher likelihood of obtaining the modeling visa at the U.S. Embassy. In addition, once the model’s H-1b3 visa is approved, the model can enter and depart from the U.S. without limit during the years authorized on the I-94 card; the white card given to him or her upon entry into the U.S. However, it is crucial to understand that this visa category has a specific amount of visas given each year and has a deadline of April 1st of each year. Those who need to enter the U.S. even after this visa deadline has expired can enter through other sorts of visas. Now, since the deadline for this year’s visas already passed, it is important to know of alternative ways of entry.
Another visa that is commonly used by foreign models is the P-3 cultural event visa. This visa applies to artists and entertainers who enter the U.S. to participate in a culturally unique function, program, or event. The model must show that his or her talent is authentic and that the performance is culturally unique. These requirements can usually be satisfied by providing evidence of received prizes or awards or published articles about the model’s accomplishments and newspaper or magazine articles explaining the cultural performance. A common example of a culturally unique event is a model trade show sponsored by an American company in the U.S. to showcase models or artists for beauty and talent from a specific country. The great advantages to this visa are that aside from allowing the model to enter and work in the United States., the model is also able to receive a decision on the case within 15 days if they pay the premium processing of $1,000. Do remember that if the function cannot be established to be culturally unique, the model will not be able to obtain the visa. This is why its important to seek the advise of an Immigration lawyer who deals with this sort of work on a daily basis.
The most common and attractive alternative to models instead of entering the U.S. with a visa is seeking a U.S. Green Card through their modeling experience. U.S. Immigration laws provide Green Cards for models wishing to come in to the U.S. to work as models as long as they can establish they are of extraordinary ability. Persons that can prove they are of national or International recognition in their field of work can qualify for a U.S. Green Card.
To qualify for a U.S. Green Card, models would have to show the government sufficient evidence to establish without a doubt that they are of distinction. There are many ways to be able to do this. Some basic examples are: proof that the model has received a major International award or prize, has made significant contributions to modeling, and has received a substantially high amount of money as compensation for modeling. In proving distinction to the U.S. government, tear sheets are also utilized. The model should be able to show at least 12 tear sheets. If the requirements are not met, the Green Card will not be approved.
There are many benefits to obtaining a Green Card. Models that have a Green Card do not have to rely on a modeling agency to sponsor them to come into the United States. As a result, models that enter the U.S. with a Green Card have much more power to make decisions regarding their profession. Because these models do not have to rely on a specific agency that sponsored them to enter the US, they are able to search for the agency that provides them with the most attractive benefits. These models are also able to travel around the world and return to the U.S. without having to seek another visa or documentation from their agency or abroad. No further paperwork is necessary to leave and re-enter the U.S. The model would even be eligible to seek U.S. citizenship within 5 years of obtaining the Green Card. However, even if the model does not qualify for a Green Card right away for lack of experience or recognition, he or she can enter the U.S. with a visa and seek a Green Card from inside of the U.S.
The Immigration system in the U.S. is extremely complex and its laws change constantly. The key to obtaining a visa or a Green Card through the modeling profession is to establish to the American government that the applicant is employable as a model in the U.S. As shown on this article, there are a multitude of ways to prove this.
Because the U. S. has such strict Immigration laws, it is extremely important to seek the counsel and representation of a specialized Immigration Attorney. Only by doing so, will you be legally in the U.S. with the correct visa and not be subject to arrest or deportation. You will also have more protection against being professionally exploited. Another benefit to seeking the advice of a qualified Immigration attorney is that if you are new to modeling and still wish to pursue a modeling career in the U.S., you may learn whether you qualify to enter through another visa. Only a specialized Immigration attorney can counsel you as to which visa is most beneficial and secure for your individual circumstance.