My friend is a Canadian actress (who I also represent) and she was just wondering if it's possible that she can come to the U.S. like any other Canadian might for "pleasure" or the usual 6-month stay maximum without any exemptions or limitations based on her profession.

I ask because the U.S. Visa section says anyone who is a professional actor is exempt from B-2 Visitor Visas, which are normally considered just short-term visitors for non-pay or are automatically applied without the need for applying for any Visa (meaning a Passport is all that's needed generally).

Since someone who acts can travel for non-professional reasons as anyone else, can she, a Canadian citizen and professional actor, visit the U.S. for the normal 6-month period?

Also, as a bonus question, if she were to get a paying acting job in the U.S. under any Visa for a 1-3 year max period as a start, and she wasn't residing in the U.S. for all of the allotted time, could she re-enter as a visitor not part of the initial "work-alien" Visa? I ask because there are many holes in this:

  1. It's assumed that, because she's an actress, it's implied that she intends to live permanently in the U.S. -- she doesn't and only wonders because it's an opportunity for international auditions/work. If she doesn't intend to live very much time in the U.S. (at least at once), the Visa would only be useful for pay and work -- not just a "hidden" loophole for permanent residency in which some might use it.

  2. It's not an absolute requirement to obtain an O Visa for international acting work, but the Visa sections define "professional acting" as B Visa exempt, but that's only factoring in remuneration -- ignoring that this reads out as if it's stating, "No one who has acted professionally in their country is allowed to visit the U.S."; it doesn't read out as if it's only applying to professional work in said area.

Basically, there are many gray areas here and holes that may vary based on exact desires/circumstances/expectations of said people in regard to an existing profession alone, even when that profession may have nothing to do with one's desire for international travel.

  • Of course she can. I don't see any reasonable line of reasoning to support the conclusion that anyone who has acted professionally is ineligible for a B visa (or, for a Canadian, for B-2 status). – phoog Feb 10 '16 at 21:49
  • The US embassy webpage seems straightforward? canada.usembassy.gov/mobile/visas/… – user662852 Feb 11 '16 at 0:38
  • Can Canadians... come to the U.S...? NO! Let's build a wall! Make America great again! – Parthian Shot Feb 11 '16 at 4:02

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