Visas

Wooden Ship offers visa preparation services for artists traveling to the US. You need to try to give us at least 5 months  to prepare the visa for regular processing and 3 months for Premium Processing.  They are issuing more Requests for Evidence then ever and the Union is taking longer. Artists from Europe also have to figure in the time to get a Consular appointment and for them to send the passports back by Courier. These times vary from consulate to consulate. Canadians can pick their visas up at the Port of Entry so there is a bit more leeway time.

Read the artistsfromabroad.org website before firing a lot of questions at us. Understanding the process is 1/2 the battle and the artist’s responsibility.  the visa categories and requirements are clearly spelled out on the artistsfromabroad.org and the USCIS web sites. Please understand these categories and be realistic as to whether you really fit either a P-1, P-3 or O-1 category.

Also read the tax implications and for questions on withholding or for applying for a CWA I highly recommend contacting Mark Colson at mark@GetaCWA.com

What we do for you:

Preparation of the I-129 Application

Writing the Introductory Letter that accompanies the Application

Coordinating the material in a a cohesive manner, but this does not mean that I prepare or collect the material for you. I can assist you with getting letters if needed. We send one complete copy to the AF of M for a Consultation and two complete copies to the USCIS.

If the USCIS issues a Request for Evidence after receiving the petition we will do everything in our power to answer their questions and hopefully get the visa approved. This will be easier to do if the material requested can be quickly gathered and in fact we will not receive the RFE if all the requested material is available and submitted with the original filing.

If the petition is not approved within 5 weeks (Europeans) 4 weeks (Canadians) of your arrival in the US you need to be prepared to pay Premium Processing, which is an additional $1225. If this becomes necessary I will see the process through as well as answering any governmental inquiries for more information.

Your Responsibilities:

Fees

$250 for the Union Consultation  (there is no charge for members of the AF of M in Canada But we need a copy of your Union card)  the Union is enforcing the extra $100 if you want this expedited in less than a week,                                                                               

 New fee $460

 Wooden Ship fee is $800. There will be an extra fee if we do not get the material in a timely fashion and the visa needs to jump the line of visas we are working on.  An extra fee of $26 per FedEx if you request the material be sent by FedEx to the Union, The Vermont Service Center and then the Approval sent Internationally.

We are accepting PayPal but please use the button for friends and family so we are not charged a fee. We also accept checks from Canada drawn on US funds and bank transfers.

Required Papers

1. Signed contract with Wooden Ship Productions as the petitioner giving  WSP permission to do business for you for matters relating to visa concerns and to accept service on your behalf.

a. If represented by an Agent we need a contract with them as well as a copy of your agency agreement. we will. We can prepare these contracts for you.

b. If you are an independent foreign artist this should be either added to your contract, or attached to the presenters contract and/or on their letterhead if possible. (This is spelled out and available on artistsfromabroad.org as well

I/we, the undersigned, intend to hire the services of  (artist name)

to perform in the United States, and authorize Robyn Boyd of Wooden Ship Productions to act for and in my/our place as agent for the limited purpose of filing a petition to obtain the necessary U.S. work-related visa classification for said artist/group.

_________________________________ (insert name of employer)

__________________________________ (sign on behalf of Employer)

___________________________________ (date)

2. Legible copies of the artist’s/band’s passports (scans are fine) and addresses for all band members

3. You should have letters from anyone in your country or the US who can attest to the fact that you are a representative of your own culture and therefore culturally unique. There should be at least a paragraph outlining the person’s credentials in being able to write the letter.

4. Itinerary which has to be in the form below.

Date, Venue with address, Fee, Contact person with phone and/or email

example: Dec 25 Santa’s workshop 1 Candy Cane Lane, North Pole                                    fee 1 million lollipops                                                                                                                       Contact: Mrs Clause  mclause@northpole.com  333-444-2345

Please do not send incomplete information. Missing information will add to the time to get the visa to the USCIS  If I have to take the time to create an Itinerary there will be a $50 charge for my time.

Please do not use Excel since they run to several pages which the USCIS will not take the time to put together…the idea is to make this as painless for them as possible

5. All signed contracts (or email discussion with all information listed under item 4) and if you are an International Artist acting as your own booking agent an Appointment of Agent forms needs to be filled out by each venue. Cut and past form onto Venue letterhead. We can help with this form if needed.

6. Promo (not CDS pictures) keep it simple and impressive. CD covers, Reviews, Articles, Bios… are best. All articles need to be in their original form. or a download that shows the web site you are using.

This is a two step process.

First the USCIS approves the visa. When we receive the Approval Notice we will email you a PDF copy and mail the original to you.

Second the State Dept Consulate, in what ever country you choose to make an appointment, no matter what Consulate is on the Approval Notice, issues the visa. You must do the appropriate paperwork on line and pay the $195 in US currency in order to make the appointment.

Canadians do not need a consular appointment and ned to bring their Approval to the border and then it is up to the customs and Border Officer is responsible for allowing you to enter the US.