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Legal Notes -- SMP Hot Links Supreme
We have, by far, the largest music market
in the world and it is the desire of many artists from abroad
to come to the United States to try to exploit that market. All
of those foreign nationals who come here (called aliens) come
under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS),
the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department
of State, and the Department of Labor. These agencies operate
according to U.S. law and especially with respect to the Immigration
and Nationality Act.
It is the INS who issues the visas that
are needed to enter, visit, and work in the United States. See Cross-links:
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION
SERVICE (INS), TAX PUBLICATIONS under #513.
Certain visas are issued, i.e., certain
aliens are admitted without limitation while others have annual
numerical restrictions. For example, there are no limit restrictions
for immediate relatives (defined as spouse, children, or parents
of citizens of the U.S.).
Other aliens are admitted according to
numerical limits, and according to their status of preference.
For example, aliens who are performing artists, may be preferred
because of their exceptional abilities if they "substantially
benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural interests,
or welfare of the United States and whose services in the professions,
sciences, or arts are sought by an employer in the United States."
To support the claim of exceptional ability,
the alien should submit written documented evidence that "may
testify to the universal acclaim and either national or international
recognition accorded the alien, show that he has received a nationally
or internationally recognized prize or award or won a nationally
or internationally recognized competition for a specific product
or performance or for outstanding achievement."
Other nonperforming arts and science aliens
may be admitted because they fit into certain schedules where
labor certifications are issued in advance of any job offer. These
occupations may include musical producers, writers, and
Aliens who qualify are issued a visa by
the INS. Visas are either permanent (called "Green Card"
visas) or temporary (called "H-1" or "H-2"
The visa is granted or denied by certifying
officers in the national and regional offices of the Employment
and Training Administration of the Department of Labor, or by
officers in the U.S. Counselor's Office.
The main criteria considered in order to obtain the visa are
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