getting started

Getting a U.S. artist visa is a multi-step process, and how long the entire process takes depends mainly on how quickly you can gather the required documentation and whether you are willing to pay the government’s $2805 “Premium Processing” expediting fee. The general timeline is as follows:
    1. You work with one of our case managers to assemble a petition that we file with the U.S. immigration service (USCIS) here in the U.S. The purpose of the petition is to show that 1) The artist has the required renown, which we demonstrate with press, testimonial letters, evidence of impressive past and future performances, and other evidence of critical and/or commercial “achievements”; and 2) The artist has contracted work in the U.S. Working together with the artist and their staff, this phase of the process can take anywhere from a week to a month or longer.
    2. We seek a consultation letter from a U.S. labor organization stating that they don’t object to the approval of the petition. This typically takes between two days and two weeks, depending on whether you pay the union’s expediting fee.
    3. We file the petition with USCIS. Premium Processing guarantees a response within 15 business days; however, there is always a small chance USCIS will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE), in which case the 15-business-day clock would reset once they receive our response to the RFE. If you don’t use Premium Processing, USCIS regular processing is currently taking around 1–3 months, on average, but there is no guaranteed time frame and some cases take much longer.
    4. Once USCIS has approved the petition, the artist will then need to complete a visa interview or mail-in application (depending on eligibility) at their local U.S. embassy or consulate and get the visa stamped in their passport. This part of the process typically takes 1-2 weeks*, but it can take longer if, for example, the individual has a criminal record. (*Please note that as of summer 2024, this part of the process is generally taking longer—sometimes significantly—as U.S. consular posts continue to struggle with pandemic-related backlogs and staffing issues.)
If you want to begin this process, please contact Will Spitz at with information about your U.S. plans and intended entry date.