EB-1(a) for Modern Artists

Posted on September 26, 2007 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Q&A: Can Modern Painters Apply for EB-1(a)?

Mr. Liu asked:

I’m a modern painter and am well known in the field.  My works have been recommended for exhibition in other countries.  Currently, my works are selling quite well.  Many of them have been bought at high prices by foreign collectors.  In your previous article, you mentioned that the US welcomes extraordinary aliens from all over the world and that folk artists have a lot of advantages.  Can I apply for a green card in the same way?  Are there any advantages for me?  Can I get the green card in a short time?


First, the US immigration policy not only welcomes extraordinary folk artist.  As we mentioned in our previous articles, the EB-1-A is designed for extraordinary aliens from all over the world, which include aliens in arts, business, academics, athletics etc.  That is to say, the EB-1-A is not only suitable for folk artists but also other artists, which include modern painters.

Modern artists have the same three requirements fold artists have:

  1. Evidence of the display of the alien’s work in the field at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
  2. Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales;
  3. Published material about the alien in professional or major trade publications or other major media relating to the alien’s work in the field for which classification is sought.

In your situation, some of requirements are not suitable for you (such as commercial success of performing artist). However, that is not to say you’re not qualified for the EB-1-A.  In fact, since your works sell well, you may be qualified for this requirement by providing evidence that you have commanded a high salary or other significantly high remuneration for services relative to others in the field.  You need to provide evidence of your high salary, normal salary of your peers and other evidence that your salary is much higher than your peers.

Additionally, you mentioned that your works has been shown in a lot of exhibitions in foreign countries, which is helpful for your application.  You need to provide evidence to show the influence of the exhibition because not all exhibitions are qualified.  Generally speaking, international exhibitions are more persuasive than domestic exhibitions.  Local exhibitions are normally not accepted.  Besides the level of the exhibitions, you need to provide evidence to explain how the exhibition chose works and related reports which can benefit your application.

If you have made appearances on any reputable major media outlets of national outreach and can provide evidence of this, your application will be enhanced as well.

Finally, as to your question on whether you can get green card in a short time, you have certain advantages if you qualify for an EB-1-A application.  Because the EB-1-A is exempt from the Labor Certification Process and the waiting period for quota is relatively short, the whole process is much shorter than for other kinds of employment-based preference categories.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.