You’ve made the monumental decision to follow your dreams and move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Hollywood and become a famous actor or the next Victoria’s Secret Angel. You’ve got your plane ticket, effortlessly cool luggage and all your amazing outfits chosen, but you have the sneaking suspicion something’s missing…. And then you realise you don’t have an O1 Visa!!! Yikes – Back to the drawing board.
If you’re an actor and wanting to move to the USA for acting reasons alone, this is what you need to collate before making contact with a US Immigration Lawyer. Once you have all this, the Lawyer will then ask for a payment in the region from $5000-$10 000! One of the most highly recommended lawyers is George Giosmas Lawyers, and if you go with them, it’s going to cost you in the region of $6000.
1. The first thing you’re going to need is ten (or more) reference letters from people within the entertainment industry (acting coaches, teachers, directors, colleagues, producers and so on). These need to be professionals with whom you have worked with and who are going to make you sound HOT, HOT, HOT!
2. Phew! After that’s all done, the second thing is extremely easy! You just need to have a copy of your Passport.
3. Job offer/contract for US work in the field of acting. This can seem very daunting, but trust that you have a contact that will come through for you. The contract usually comes from a friend of a friend and doesn’t need to be seen through. It’s more of a failsafe so that the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) can see that you are hireable.
4. Ok this one requires work! You’re going to need a proposed itinerary of events for the next three years. This is to show the USA that you’re passionate about moving to their country and are willing to put the work in. Also note, the O1 Visa can be attained for a maximum of 3 years.
5. Press materials. Any articles or newspaper clippings you have been included in. They need to be paper copies, so if you only have websites then head over to www.paperworld.com.au and get ordering!
6. Another easy one, which you should already have anyway! Copies of your best Headshots, CV and Resume.
7. Previous contracts. So, any contracts you have from the acting/modelling work you’ve done in the past. You should all have copies of your contacts saved so this final step should be nice and easy!
Once your Lawyers receive all of this, they put together your personal case package. They then send a copy to the SAG to validate you and your Visa petition. SAG will then (hopefully) issue a document stating you are worthy of an O1 Visa. YAY! They will then send this entire package to Immigration to validate. The whole process can take up to three months and it’s definitely something you can’t rush. Now I’ve told you what to do, the rest is up to you. Good luck in pursuing a career in Hollywood!