The San Diego Comic-Con International has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a convention for comic book collectors in California in the 1970s. Comic-Con is now considered a premier event for pop culture fans and the entertainment industry. Close to 150,000 attendees are expected at the San Diego Convention Center this year, and many of them will arrive from foreign countries.
Immigration authorities in the United States are getting ready for the influx of visa applications from foreigners who wish attend Comic-Con from Thursday, July 18th to Sunday, July 21st, 2013. Pop culture fans, celebrities, authors, businesspeople, collectors, and other Comic-Con hopefuls are advised to submit their applications with plenty of time in advance and to become familiar with the process.
Non-industry attendees can apply for the B1 or B2 visa for visitors or tourists, which is approved and issued by the U.S. State Department. These visas are approved for specific purposes, and thus it is important for potential Comic-Con attendees to provide consular officials with information about the event. The visa application process is straight-forward and involves the following steps:
- Digital photograph
- DS-160 application
- Fee payment
- Set up appointment date and time for interview
- Attend interview and get passport stamp
B1 and B2 visas applications are sometimes rejected due to mistakes on the DS-160 application, technicalities or lack of supporting documents. Immigration law firms in San Diego and the U.S. can often assist applicants by reviewing the DS-160 and the reasons for the denial.
The San Diego Comic-Con also attracts graphic designers, storyboard artists, musicians, writers, actors, performers, video game developers, and more. These attendants can enter the U.S. with an O-1 visa and stay for a period beyond the Comic-Con event. In some cases, visas can also be extended to the agents and assistants who usually accompany the artists or performers.
The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) pays closer attention to visas granted to artists. For this reason, applicants are strongly advised to consult with a Kazmi and Sakata Immigration Law in San Diego before starting the process. The documentation and procedures undertaken to obtain O and P visas are more complex than the B1 and B2 applications.
To schedule a free consultation with the professional immigration lawyers at Kazmi and Sakata Law, contact us today at 858-874-0711. We are located in San Diego and can help answer any of your questions relating to the local Comic Con event, family, business and employment immigration in San Diego, naturalization and more.