Joel Christiansen

CreativeVisas.com is a project of U.S. lawyer and software engineer Joel Christiansen. I originally created this website as a way to organize my personal legal research materials related to U.S. nonimmigrant work visas for creative, innovative, and cultural professionals. Inspired by my many mentors in the open source software community, I choose to freely share as much of this material as possible.

On this site, you will find information about 7 specific visa classifications, 1,667 legal citations, 635 administrative appeal decisions, and 267 separate topics. There are organized collections of relevant legal materials for 76 professions and 68 industries. Everything you read on this site has been translated from government sources into data objects and modeled into meaningful relationship structures primarily using the Ruby programming language. This site is a constant work in progress.

The material on this website focuses on O-1A and O-1B visas (for extraordinary abilities in art, science, business, education, motion pictures, and television), P-1B and P-3 visas (for internationally recognized entertainment groups and culturally unique entertainers), and Q visas (for cultural exchange programs and participants) and related visas for supporting personnel (i.e., O-2, P-1S, and P-3S classifications). I plan on adding more visa classifications over time.

Please do not make legal decisions based on anything you read here. Hundreds of appeal decisions available for PDF download on this website demonstrate the importance of thoughtfully handling the details of every work visa petition. For example, see this AAO case noting at page 10 that "the use of boilerplate language reduces the evidentiary weight of [supporting evidence]. Cf Surinder Singh v. Board of Immigration Appeals, 438 F.3d 145, 148 (2d Cir. 2006) (upholding an immigration judge's adverse credibility determination in asylum proceedings based in part on the similarity of some of the affidavits); see also Mei Chai Ye v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 489 F.3d 517, 519 (2d Cir. 2007) (concluding that an immigration judge may reasonably infer that when an asylum applicant submits strikingly similar affidavits, the applicant is the common source)."