The Top 3 Things a Musician Needs to Know About the Artist Visa

Each industry often has specific issues and questions that manifest when applying for an artist visa (O-1). If you’re a musician, we’ve identified the top three items you need to think about before beginning the application process. They are….drumroll please (sorry we couldn’t miss an opportunity at a bad pun).

1. Portfolio

While we recognize that musicians most likely don’t have the traditional “portfolio” compared to say a graphic designer, it is still very important that they be able to present proof of work and talent for the O-1 visa in the form of a portfolio. A typical musician portfolio might include:

  • Press (publications, blog posts count, promotional material, websites that cite your performances)
  • Awards
  • Album jackets of your work and/or your collaborations
  • Google yourself: are you a big deal? Prove it with an Internet search
  • Finally, compile all these materials…now you have a portfolio!

2. Recommendation Letters

These should be signed by people in your industry who you feel are qualified to comment on your abilities as a musician. These can be fellow musicians, producers, music critics, professors, and others. Pick eight to ten people. If you work with the Lehach Filippa team, we can help draft the letters that reference your complete CV/resume that you provide.

3. Advisory Opinion

Many O-1 artist visa applicants are required to submit a consultation letter with their application from a professional organization in their field that states they are qualified for the O-1 visa. The most commonly used for musicians is the American Music Federation (AFM).

And there you have it. The top three! For a complete analysis of your artist visa needs, drop us a note at