Best Immigration Lawyer, Attorneys in NYC, New York

influencer chefs and immigration law in the united states

Due to the surge in social media use, coupled with the COVID-19 lockdowns, many chefs and bakers left their jobs to become influencers, sharing their recipes and videos online. These creators, often with a background in culinary arts with a passion for cooking, have leveraged social media platforms to showcase their talents, share recipes, and engage with their audience. Accounts such as Chef Bae, Wishbone Kitchen, and Owen Han have taken the online culinary world by storm, sharing their recipes, cookbooks, and daily chef life hacks.

Influencer chefs are not limited to the United States; personalities like the Italian Nadia Caterina Munno, known as the Pasta Queen, are paving the way and inspiring people to pursue their culinary passions worldwide. Their influence extends beyond sharing recipes; they often collaborate with brands for sponsored content, host cooking workshops or pop-up events, and even launch their own product lines or cookbooks. This diversification allows them to monetize their passion for cooking while expanding their reach and impact.

Many of these influencers use multiple platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to connect with the world. For international Influencer and Content Creator Chefs looking to move to the United States, they first need appropriate visas to enter the country. One such visa is the O-1B.

The O-1B visa is a temporary, nonimmigrant status that permits foreigners to work in the United States for an initial three-year period. Receiving an O-1B visa includes having an offer of employment in the United States (or several offers of employment from multiple sources, along with a third-party Agent), and convincing U.S. immigration officials at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security that you are a person of ‘extraordinary ability’ in the arts. Showcasing that you have achieved a level of ‘extraordinary ability’ requires demonstrating that you meet certain criteria, such as being nationally or internationally recognized, attaining commercial success, and commanding higher renumeration than others in your field, to name a few. To do so, an Influencer Chef will be required to provide articles written about them, letters recognizing them for their achievements by other experts in their field, evidence of their high numbers of views, followers, and/or likes as compared to others, etc.

The O-1B visa is a great legal option, but like a shoe, there is not a one size fits all when it comes to immigration. What is consistent, however, is the need for the proper authorization. So, if you are an Influencer Chef considering a move to the United States to showcase your talents from within our borders, don’t forget to contact an immigration lawyer so you don’t run afoul of any U.S. immigration laws. After all, one’s posts are generally public, and immigration officials, like ordinary citizens, are on social media and can be influenced by the incredible food too.

Wildes & Weinberg P.C., perhaps the United States’ premier law firm concentrating in the immigration and nationality field, was established by Leon Wildes, in 1960, who is best known for his successful representation of John Lennon in his immigration deportation proceedings. Leon’s son, Michael Wildes, is now the firm’s Managing Partner and a Former Federal Prosecutor, as well as the Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey. His representation has included soccer icon Pele, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, renowned chef Jean Georges, singer-songwriter Boy George, and many more. Still, the firm treats all their clients with the same respect and fights for their rights with tenacity, scholarship, and experience, regardless of their notoriety. Michael’s son, and Leon’s grandson, Josh Wildes, is a third-generation immigration attorney in the firm, who previously served as an Attorney Advisor in the Department of Justice’s Executive office for Immigration Review prior to joining the practice. Josh’s client base includes various Influencers, esports professionals, and streamers, and he serves as an Immigration Consultant for Lost Tribe, a nonprofit focused on esports and content creation.

Over the past 64 years, the firm has concentrated their practice in all aspects of U.S. immigration and nationality law, servicing the immigration needs of prominent American and International firms, banks, industrial, financial, and manufacturing concerns and law firms in connection with the personnel needs of their foreign national employees, including massive corporations with thousands of employees. In addition, they have a distinguished clientele and have done substantial immigration work for performing artists, influencers, directors, writers, models, actors, athletes, esports professionals, fine artists, art dealers, curators, streamers, and literary agents. The firm has been expanding its content creation and esports practice greatly, and represents a handful of teams, individuals, and organizations across various platforms and games/leagues.

Despite difficulties currently being encountered in dealing with U.S. immigration authorities, we have maintained an extraordinary track record for success in our cases. In addition, our entire staff is known for its experience and special expertise in processing each foreign national’s case with nothing less than the highest level of professionalism. Although we are based out of New York City, we also have offices in Miami, New Jersey, Los Angeles (by appointment only), and soon, Tel Aviv, Israel, and together with our multilingual and experienced staff, we represent clients throughout our great nation and the entire world.

For more information on this or any other type of visa or immigration inquiry, please visit or contact

By Josh Wildes, Esq., Associate Attorney at Wildes & Weinberg, P.C. with a special thanks to Isabella Messer

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