O1 Visa question


Hi everyone. I’m a visual effects artist from Norway.
I am currently in the process of applying to the O1 Visa. As an applicant it is highly recommended to be a member of a association or respective guild, in my case that would be VES (Visual Effect Society). Does anyone have any experience in applying for a membership there? At their website, under membership, it states that you need the endorsement of two members in order to apply. Has anyone here applied without or prior to knowing any members? Other tips regarding O1 for visual effects artist in general would be greatly appreciated.



Considering the O1 visa is for people who are in a highly regarded position in their field, I’d imagine an O1 candidate would have no problem joining the VES, because they’d surely be well connected enough… ? Remember though that membership of an organisation is just one of numerous ways to qualify for the O1; speak to your immigration attorney about the other criteria, as you may find some of the other options simpler to fulfil.


leigh, my bad, I miss understood. Apparently you can receive a letter of recommendation without being a member.


If you’ll forgive my curiosity, I was wondering what your background is, and took a look through some of your past posts, and noticed that you only recently graduated. Are you sure the O1 visa is right for you? I know several people who have them, but they’re all very highly experienced artists who are considered prominent figures in their respective disciplines, they’re all really well known internationally, are published, have high profile credits, etc. Obviously you’ve chosen to remain anonymous here, so for all I know, you may be mega famous. But considering your recent graduation, chances are you’re still a relative newcomer to the field, which leads me to ask if you’re sure this is the most appropriate visa for you? Is this what your immigration attorney and future employer in the US have suggested? It just strikes me as a bit unusual.


We recently hired a guy who’s going through the o-1 process and he just needed 8 years working experience to qualify - he’s also got a job lined up. It’s a little easier to get one if you don’t work in motion picture or tv (we work in ‘marketing’, where a high salary, good title and 8 years solid work good enough)


Indeed, qualifying for the O-1A (non film/TV) category is probably more straightforward than the O-1B. For the O-1B visa (which is specifically for people working in the film or TV fields), you really do need to demonstrate a reasonable level of international acclaim. Having said that, it doesn’t necessarily have a time requirement for how long you’ve been working in the field, but generally, most artists don’t achieve international standing in a very short space of time, so broadly speaking you’d probably find that most people applying in that category are likely to have been working for several years at least in the field.


Hi Leigh, I am curious, what would be the definition of international standing achievements to apply for such a visa?


It’s stuff like being published in your field (like, if you’ve written books, or contributed to them), won prestigious awards like Academy or VES Awards, held a particularly high position in a highly regarded studio (like a VFX supervisor), been on the judging panel for prestigious contests, etc. If I recall correctly, you need to fulfil a minimum of three of these criteria for the visa. If you google it, you should find the full list of qualifying criteria though, as there are others that I can’t think of offhand. Basically, you need to demonstrate that you’re a prominent figure in your respective field.


It’s been a few years, but I believe the requirements for VES membership are that you’ve either A) been working in the VFX industry for more than 5 years and have two letters of recommedation from existing members or B) you’ve won a VES award.

If you’ve been working for 5 years and work at a large VFX studio it’s not really that hard to find a couple of VES members - whether they’ll give you a recommendation is another thing.


This is a very good question. I am also now trying to get an O1 visa.


Well, did you manage to get the O1 visa? I am also interested in this question. I want to immigrate to the USA, but I’m not sure what type of visa to get yet. I tried to win the green card, but I was out of luck. I’ve already found a lot of information about immigration on the Internet. For example, the site https://studyhippo.com/essays-on/immigration/ describes this issue in detail. In general, it is for teaching students, but there is a lot of useful information. I learned that you need to have work experience in your specialty from 8 years. I’m missing a bit, so this option may not work.