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Can Tattoo Artists Get An Artist Visa/ O-1 Visa?

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By Author: Elektra B. Yao
Total Articles: 14
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Most of the time, when you think about O-1 Visas or Artist Visas, you probably envision actors, singers, visual artists, and dancers. Tattoo artists are one of the non-traditional artists who qualify for the O-1B visa.

Why do Tattoo Artists Qualify for O-1 Visa?

Tattooing is one of the earliest kinds of art, and each country has its interpretations and tattoo techniques. Tattoo artists employ creative concepts and techniques, despite the fact that the artwork is not placed on a traditional canvas but on an individual's body.

What Is The Content of Tattoo Artists Portfolio?

The methodology of your work will set you apart from other professionals applying for the O-1 Visa, as most tattoo artists provide finished images of their work in their portfolios. Here are some of the content you may include in your portfolio:

1. Tattoo Sketches/ sketchbook
2. Tattoo Preparations for Clients
3. Professional Calendar
4. Tattoo Apprenticeship - Include supporting evidence and an invitation letter.
6. Conventions - Include your conference badge, invitation letter, and photographs.
... 7. Tattoo artwork- Include photographs of you tattooing your clients.
8. Contract - contract with the employer, offer letter, or even pay stubs proving you are being compensated for this employment.
9. Teaching materials - Include lectures you led and/or artist classes you organized.

Letters of Recommendation

Always remember that choosing signers is just as important as the letter's content. Examples of potential signers include: clients attesting to your expertise and creativity, employers such as tattoo parlors, and tattoo artists who have reached a specific career level.

What Job Should A Tattoo Artist Get for an O-1 Visa/ Artist Visa?

You should secure employment as you can only file for an O-1 visa if you prove future work. An O-1 visa is a work authorization visa.

A tattoo artist is not restricted to tattooing only within a tattoo studio. In the United States, tattoo artists have numerous opportunities, including teaching artists and aspiring tattoo artists. You must determine what opportunities and professions you wish to pursue in the United States. If you applied as a tattoo artist and later decided to explore other options, such as teaching artists, you would be unable to do so since your underlying O-1 petition would not permit it.

All behind-the-scenes artists are eligible for the O-1 visa, not just traditional artists. I believe that if a profession involves the application of creativity, then it is possible to qualify for an O-1 visa.

Elektra Yao, also known at The Artist Visa Lawyer ®, has successfully represented record labels, modeling agencies, production companies, individual artists, and creatives. She is passionate about the arts, specifically the intersection of entertainment and immigration.

More About the Author

Elektra B. Yao, Esq. is the founder and principal attorney at Yao Law Group law firm dedicated to international and domestic artists. Elektra earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, one of the top art schools in the nation. During her undergraduate university career, Elektra wrote, directed, and produced two documentaries (N*gga What? and The Choking Game) which were screened in Texas and New York City. During college, she worked for MTV, the Style Network, and other distinguished production companies in the Film and TV industry. Elektra is a very active attorney and is a member of The American Immigration Lawyers Association, Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyer Association, and The New York City Bar Association, where is she is a member of several committees. As a multicultural attorney, with immigrant parents from Italy and Cote D’Ivoire, Elektra is fully fluent in French, Italian, and Spanish. She has lived, studied, and worked internationally in the US, the EU, and Africa. Not only does she understand the language her clients speak, she understands the cultural and artistic landscape of where they come from. Elektra has successfully represented record labels, modeling agencies, production companies, individual artists, and creatives. Mission Elektra’s mission is to serve artists and creative professionals by helping them secure artists visas, cement their brands, and monetize their artistry.

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