Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram


EB1- Commercial Success in the Arts

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EB1 Green Card – (x) Commercial Success in the Performing Arts Editorial:

Commercial Success in the Performing Arts is another category that is applicable to only those in the performing arts, and thus will not include all candidates.

For those who are actively involved in the performing arts industry, this presentation focuses on how to satisfy the EB1 green card category ‘Commercial Success in the Performing Arts’.

The actual official wording of this category is:

(x) Evidence of commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales.

You may recall from the EB1 green card introductory presentation where I summarized each of the categories, I rephrased this category as follows:

(x) Commercial Success – Could you provide or develop documentation to prove your work has enjoyed commercial successes in the performing arts, as shown by box office receipts or record, cassette, compact disk, or video sales?

The words ‘performing arts’ has been highlighted as it is important to remember that this is key to to satisfying this category.

The performing arts industry has a myriad of professionals, from the superstar actors and singers to creative directors and producers, who tend to act behind the scenes. In most cases, these individuals have had a degree of commercial success, and determining whether the applicant’s contribution directly led to the commercial success under review. Our job is to persuade EB1 green card adjudicator that the success was, in no small part, due to their contribution to the project. Some contributions are more straightforward than others. For example, let’s say you’re a lead actor in a hit TV show, film or play, then as long as your role is well credited and we can show the gross receipts, ratings or rankings in a favorable light then we’re in good stead.

Similarly, if you are one part of a four-piece chart-topping band, then even if you’re the drummer or the keyboard player (as opposed to the lead singer) you can still claim equal billing, and thus earn EB1 green card credit.

Another good example of a commercial success is platinum selling albums. It is also important to note that platinum record awards are more appropriate to this category than the Awards category as they indicate record sales. The creative director on a platinum selling record would certainly be key to record, while the administrative assistant is not.

EB1 Green Card – (x) Commercial Success in the Performing Arts Commentary:

The question of your commercial success becomes more subjective and open to persuasion as to whether people like a band’s sound engineer, who mixed your last platinum selling album, could also claim ‘evidence of commercial success”. We would argue ‘yes, possibly’, because the band’s sound is controlled by the sound engineer and thus has a direct contribution to the album selling well. The band is also a performing art. How about, if a band’s caterer tried to claim on this EB1 green card category on the basis that they were the caterers to the stars? We would argue ‘no’, because the caterer’s role has absolutely nothing to do with the production value of the product that has been commercially successful.

How far removed one can be from the direct performing art must be narrowly curtailed. Instead, the focus should be – the closer you can be tied to the commercial success the more likely you will be credited with having satisfied this category.

Authors of any successful performing art production should be automatically considered within this category.  Many best selling books have been turned into performance-based projects. These are some of the many interesting discussions we would need to have with you depending on the precise nature of your art.

Another general consideration we would be looking for are indicators such as the location of the performance: the local village hall, a pub, or bar, e.g., are not distinguished venues. However, performances on Broadway, Madison Square Garden, The Royal Albert Hall, the West End and O2, are some of the most prestigious locations and venues that would certainly have that ‘wow’ factor and commensurate commercial success.

This category is about reporting the commercial success as an indicator of the alien’s extraordinary ability – ‘show me the money’. There are many artists who are perhaps not that well known, they may not have won many or any awards, but their performances and productions have been commercially successful.

We also have to consider the relativity of the artist’s work in comparison to other artists in the same field. For example, a playwright may make significantly less money than a songwriter whose songs may have sold hundreds of thousands because of airplay. The goal here will be to ensure that the EB1 green card adjudicator does not purely look at a numerical amount of commercial success, but place the earnings in some relative context.

We hope you have enjoyed our review of these categories.

If You Can Satisfy 3 EB1 Green Card Categories
from this List Please Contact us ASAP. 


US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 442 244 4350

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