I graduated from the National Taiwan University Of Arts with B.F.A in Acting. During my Sophomore year, I was lucky to join the VMTheatre Company in Taiwan and have been performing professionally since then. I performed with VMTheatre Company in many productions in Taiwan. When I was 21, I was cast in the musical Anything Goes with Asian Pop Star Evonne Hsu and recorded a single with her. I came to New York for further education in Musical Theater and graduated from AMDA in 2016 with performing diploma in Musical Theater. Just like many fifty thousand actors in New York, I went to hundreds of auditions during the OPT year and have been blessed to work almost non-stop after AMDA. I performed in several plays, musicals, dance, and film in New York during my OPT.
2. What are you currently working on right now?
Currently, I just made my Off-Broadway debut in Anything Goes at Theater Row. An actor's job is to find a job so I'm still auditioning most of the time. Currently, I'm a dance and voice faculty at 2 art studios.
3. What visa are you on right now?
Thanks to Marcus Yi's help. I just got my O1 artist Visa.
4. Tell me about any difficulties you may have faced while applying for the O-1B visa?
The visa application process is very complicated in many ways. It needs to be formal and well written. Not every Immigration officer knows how show business works so it's a lot of work to help them understand the profession. English is not my first language so I do feel stress sometimes while preparing the Visa application. Thanks to my friend Marcus, I finished the application in time before the grace period end. Since I have been working in the industry for a while I don't actually have a lot of performing credits issue. But, finding performance documents is not easy for me. Most of my performing credits are in Taiwan and sometimes it's hard to find the digital copy or digital program. Not everyone you worked with before has time to write you a recommendation letter. Sometimes they are so busy so I have to gently remind them. It took me a while to get all the recommendation ready.
5. Do you have any advice for people who might want to apply for the same visa as you?
If you are a student who just got your OPT and would like to apply for the O1 artist visa in the future, Don't wait till the last minute to consult with a lawyer regarding your artist visa. Especially for someone without former performing credits. Marcus will guide you how to wisely choose the performing jobs within the OPT period. And always start early! It took me almost 6 months to file everything.
Collect your performing documents as soon as possible. It's a long process so better start earlier. Do what your lawyer told you to do. You might get confused why your lawyer told you to prepare so many paper works. Trust your lawyer, they know what they are doing and you hire them to assist you.
The O1 artist visa application is a huge work. You might feel very stressful at the beginning so just focus on one thing at a time. Follow the guide from your lawyer and you will be fine. I'm not a well-organized person, to be honest. So Marcus always reminds me of the deadline for certain documents. That really helps me a lot.
Some credits are not really useful for the O1 artist visa. So please ask your lawyer's opinion before taking several projects. For example, student film/educational theater project doesn't really count as a credit. I was quite shocked when I first heard that.
Choose your lawyer wisely! I worked with Marcus in the theater before so I know he is very professional and reliable. He is also in the performing art industry so he totally understands how you feel and how/what can you prepare for the O1 artist visa application. Not all the immigration lawyers know anything about show business, so I strongly suggest to work with the lawyer with an artistic background like Marcus.
For more information about the O1 / Artist visa check out our O1 / Artist Visa Application Guide and O1 / Artist Visa Immigration FAQ.
Immigration law can be convoluted and complex. At the Law Offices of Marcus Yi, we are NYC based O1 / Artist Visa lawyers devoted to guiding you through US immigration law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.