What are the requirements for O-1 visa petitions where an agent is performing as a sponsor or petitioner and not an employer? For example, a typical Agent/Artist relationship.
A letter of intent between the actual employer/client (a production company for an artist) and the beneficiary (artist) is required to be submitted with an O1 visa petition filed by an Agent as sponsor. The letter of intent between the “traditionally self-employed” artist and the employing company provides USCIS with evidence that an actual job is available, and that the beneficiary will be coming to the US to fulfill the terms of the agreement if the employing company decides to engage in the O-1 visa beneficiary services.
The regulation at 8 CFR 214.2(o)(2)(ii), which applies to all O petitions, requires a copy of any written contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or, if a written contract does not exist, a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will work.
USCIS will accept an oral agreement as evidenced by the summation of the elements of the oral agreement. This evidence may include but is not limited to:
- emails between the contractual parties;
- a written summation of the terms of the agreement; or
- any other evidence demonstrating that an oral agreement was entered into.
The summary of the terms of the oral agreement must contain:
- what was offered by the petitioner; and
- what was accepted by the beneficiary
What about the Itinerary in this situation? When the beneficiary uses a U.S. Agent to file an O-1 visa petition, the O-1 visa petition must be accompanied by a complete itinerary of the events or activities. The itinerary must specify:
- The dates of each service or engagement
- The names and addresses of the actual employers
- The names and addresses of the establishments, venues, or locations where the services will be performed.
This means that traditionally self-employed professions, such as Actors & Musicians, will have to provide deal memos for future work to be issued their O1 visas.
DEAL MEMO PAGE
On Headed Paper
Date: March 09, 2015
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The following represents the intent to engage John Doe as an actor in a feature film having the working title of “Great Fortune.”.
Name: John Doe
Position: Co-starring Actor
Term: 4 Weeks
Start Date: September 03, 2015
Agreed to and Accepted by: