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#1 Dan Hasson

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:58 AM

Hi I hope this is the right section. I haven't posted here much so forgive me if its wrong.

 

In 2017 I will be trying for a living and work visa for the states (to live in NYC). I am still at VERY EARLY stages of deciding on it yet so I have not fully researched. I have visited a few times to NYC so I know it is somewhere I want to live.

 

But I wanted to start here as I am a cinematographer and would love to hear of any British cinematographers on here who may have moved out to the states.

 

Was your process long and hard (I've heard many stories about the difficulty of getting a visa)? What sort of steps did you have to take?

 

I do have family (aunts and uncles) who live there and I have read online that if you have family who are permanent residents (which these family are) then they can petition for you...? Is this true/false, worth it etc?

 

Any advice is appreciated.

 

Oh and please don't make some joke about now Trumps president I shouldn't move there.

 

Thanks!


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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:17 PM

The only work visa available to film people is the O-1.  But this is employer specific so you'll need a US employer on the application.  The O-1 is only for people that have a high achievement in the industry, so if you have an Academy Award, then this would be the route for you.  Many people hire US immigration lawyers and spend $7, 000 - $10, 000 on the process.

 

"To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field."

 

https://www.uscis.go...-or-achievement

 

There is no visa that will just let you live and work in NYC, sorry.

 

R,


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#3 John E Clark

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 12:26 PM

Hi I hope this is the right section. I haven't posted here much so forgive me if its wrong.

 

In 2017 I will be trying for a living and work visa for the states (to live in NYC). I am still at VERY EARLY stages of deciding on it yet so I have not fully researched. I have visited a few times to NYC so I know it is somewhere I want to live.

 

But I wanted to start here as I am a cinematographer and would love to hear of any British cinematographers on here who may have moved out to the states.

 

Was your process long and hard (I've heard many stories about the difficulty of getting a visa)? What sort of steps did you have to take?

 

I do have family (aunts and uncles) who live there and I have read online that if you have family who are permanent residents (which these family are) then they can petition for you...? Is this true/false, worth it etc?

 

Any advice is appreciated.

 

Oh and please don't make some joke about now Trumps president I shouldn't move there.

 

Thanks!

 

If these relatives are citizens, there may be some way for them to sponsor you. But otherwise, it is going to be difficult. If you come in as a student, you can't work, and even more so as a 'tourist'.

 

As a student, there may be 'occupational training' if one is pursuing a 'higher degree', such as an MA or PhD.

 

There are also some 'business' visas if one is looking to start a business or find investments, but may not allow for 'work' as an employee.

 

There's the H-1B, which is for 'specific job categories',  and one of the contended classifications.

 

I'm for open borders... which will be the extent of my political statement on the subject.

 

As mentioned the 'O_1' visa is really for established artistic workers, and difficult to get.

 

I don't know what the visa/immigration relationship between Canada and the UK, but that may be 'easier'... than the US.


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#4 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:23 PM

Are you single?  Your fastest route to the American dream is right here:

 

http://www.match.com/


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#5 John E Clark

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:28 PM

Are you single?  Your fastest route to the American dream is right here:

 

http://www.match.com/

 

Only if you want to live for about a year or two, having the INS perform essentially a protocolgical exam on you and your spouse for the period... and... that doesn't absolve one of having a spouse who can actually 'sponsor' the immigrant.


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:39 PM

I've said it a thousand times on this forum and others.

 

You can't do it; it's essentially impossible. All work in film and TV is self-employed and you cannot get a work permit to be self-employed in the US.

 

The only way to do it is to be "of extraordinary ability." You will find a few (not many) success stories from actors who have done this. It is much easier for actors than it is for crew, because actors get lots of press very early in their careers and the assessment procedures are predicated, quite often, on how much press you've received.

 

Thus as crew, you won't get any press until you're being considered for major international awards, by which point your ability to work in the USA will be more or less irrelevant anyway.

 

Forget about it.

 

P


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#7 John E Clark

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 01:56 PM

I've said it a thousand times on this forum and others.

 

You can't do it; it's essentially impossible. All work in film and TV is self-employed and you cannot get a work permit to be self-employed in the US.

 

The only way to do it is to be "of extraordinary ability." You will find a few (not many) success stories from actors who have done this. It is much easier for actors than it is for crew, because actors get lots of press very early in their careers and the assessment procedures are predicated, quite often, on how much press you've received.

 

Thus as crew, you won't get any press until you're being considered for major international awards, by which point your ability to work in the USA will be more or less irrelevant anyway.

 

Forget about it.

 

P

 

Yes, in the case of Actors, the producers can always play the 'need authentic X actor' for some value of X.

 

My attitude has always been, even for 'immigrants' coming from Oklahoma to Hollywood is... the path to success if fraught with pitfalls and difficulty.

 

These days, I think it may be better if people don't come to Hollywood, but figure out some way to get projects in their home environment.

 

The digital age has offered some opportunities that were not available in the past... but by the same token, those opportunities may not pay a 'living wage' for any foreseeable future...


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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 10:34 PM

Phil, there's an American woman that would love to be married to you.  You would easily win her over with your charm.

 

R,


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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 11:17 PM

I think america has enough problems of her own without having to have Phil here to to upset the apple cart.

And sadly, yes, US immigration to work on film is a pain. On a student visa, I think, you can work a limited number of hours as a work-study type position which maybe you can finagle into a job/internship at a rental house.

 

Also you should find a immigration lawyer ASAP and start speaking with them in confidence, since INS can and often will look up everything you've said/done online during work application processes.


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#10 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 01:15 AM

But why would you want to go to Holly Weird .. with its high risk of getting skin cancer.. being seduced by nubile maidens crazy for our Brit accent..  cars with no roofs.. dangerous concrete water holes..  and an embarrassment of C stands..  stay in Blighty youngman..   just settle down with a nice cuppa and a Marmite sarny..  


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#11 John E Clark

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:16 AM

But why would you want to go to Holly Weird .. with its high risk of getting skin cancer.. being seduced by nubile maidens crazy for our Brit accent..  cars with no roofs.. dangerous concrete water holes..  and an embarrassment of C stands..  stay in Blighty youngman..   just settle down with a nice cuppa and a Marmite sarny..  

 

Actually I think OZ accents are the rage these days... perhaps its the Gum Trees... and of course NZ accents sort of sound the same to the So. Cal ear, so, they can come along for the ride.


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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 02:57 AM

Already full of Aussie DP,s isnt it..  :)


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#13 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 03:43 AM

 

Actually I think OZ accents are the rage these days... 

 

Bam, that's my ticket in!

Clearly I'll just have to sweet talk the immigration officers into it with the deep, sonorous sound of my vocally-fried Aussie twang!


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#14 Dan Hasson

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 05:26 AM

The only work visa available to film people is the O-1.  But this is employer specific so you'll need a US employer on the application.  The O-1 is only for people that have a high achievement in the industry, so if you have an Academy Award, then this would be the route for you.  Many people hire US immigration lawyers and spend $7, 000 - $10, 000 on the process.

 

"To qualify for an O-1 visa in the motion picture or television industry, the beneficiary must demonstrate extraordinary achievement evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition significantly above that ordinarily encountered to the extent the person is recognized as outstanding, notable or leading in the motion picture and/or television field."

 

https://www.uscis.go...-or-achievement

 

There is no visa that will just let you live and work in NYC, sorry.

 

R,

That sucks (for me haha) but thank you. Very useful. Its better for me to know now. Its a shame that its such a difficult country to move to and work in if you're freelance. 

 

Thanks to everyone else for the replies - extremely helpful!


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#15 John E Clark

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 12:53 PM

 

Bam, that's my ticket in!

Clearly I'll just have to sweet talk the immigration officers into it with the deep, sonorous sound of my vocally-fried Aussie twang!

 

Having recently seen several Aussie actors who have presented a passable US Southern Drawl, you may get a bit further 'passing'. Watch Sam Worthington and Hugo Weaving in "Hacksaw Ridge"(2016)...

 

Oh, and if there is an ad for 'actors with authentic Aussie accents'... just say no...


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#16 Richard Boddington

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 11:33 PM

That sucks (for me haha) but thank you. Very useful. Its better for me to know now. Its a shame that its such a difficult country to move to and work in if you're freelance. 

 

Thanks to everyone else for the replies - extremely helpful!

 

Some other things to consider, even if you do make it into the US as a cinematographer, how will you handle your healthcare? There's no NHS in the USA, you would be completely on your own and have to buy some sort of private insurance plan.  Expect to pay through the nose for this.  Have you looked at rents in NYC?  You'll be sharing a room with six other guys and you'll be one of the lucky ones.  Plus work will not be easy to come by, NYC is a fiercely competitive market.

 

Also, if you just want to work on big American shows you might want to look at Toronto.  Tons of US production work goes on in Toronto.  And there are plenty of British working in the Toronto film industry, they are everywhere.  Canada much easier to enter than the US.

 

Plus, Canadians are not armed to the teeth the way the Americans are, and if you're a socialism loving European, well, Canada is the place for you!!

 

R,


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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:28 AM

Canada is not much easier than the USA, from what I've seen.

Also - the UK has some of the highest housing prices in the world. About the only places in the USA that come close are the most expensive parts of Manhattan or LA. It tendsI seem cheap to us, in general.
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#18 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:44 AM

Dad.. What do you call a North American without a gun and health care.. 

 

Son.. Thats an Canadian .. 


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#19 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:55 PM

Canada is not much easier than the USA, from what I've seen.

 

Really? Who doesn't Canada let in, that's the question.

 

R,


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#20 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:29 PM

Canada is not much easier than the USA, from what I've seen.
 

It's pretty easy to get a temporary work permit for Canada. There's a tool on the immigration website which will tell you if you're eligible straight away.


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Pro 8mm

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

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