I have a client (music performer) coming into the U.S. from Australia to meet with potential record producers, labels, agents, etc. and we will be showcasing his singing to a private group of these people. Can he enter on a B1 visa to do this (he won't be receiving compensation for any performances - they're only to showcase his talent). Also, if he is offered employment (e.g. paid performances) once he's here, can we change his B1 to an O1 or P1 here, or does he have to return to Australia to do this? Thank you!
Unfortunately, coming in with the ESTA Visa Waiver means that he cannot change status to any other status while inside the U.S. nor can he extend his status. The only three exceptions are Marriage to a U.S. Citizen, having a U.S. Citizen son or daughter over 21 petition for him, or winning some sort of Asylum protection. Better for him to get a B-1 visa to come to the U.S. and then if things work out, he can change to an O or P status. So if he comes in on an ESTA, he would have to go back to Australia and apply for the different status from outside of the U.S. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I would be happy to answer them for you without additional charge. If there is a delay in getting back to you it is either because I am answering other questions or I had to log off, but I will be back with you as soon as possible. My goal is to provide you with top-notch service - please don't forget to leave me feedback if that is available for you to do so and a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just go to http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-guillermosenmartin/. Thank you!
10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
We're not planning on having him come in on the ESTA, we're planning on getting him the B1. My question is can we change from a B1 to an O1 or P1 while he's in the U.S., or does he have to return to Australia like he would with the visa waiver?
Yes, this is allowed. If he enters on a B-1 or B-2, he can change status to an O or a P inside the U.S. without having to leave the U.S. Please do not forget to leave feedback if that is an option for you as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Thank you.
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