The best thing about being an immigration attorney is having the opportunity to meet and work with incredible and extraordinary people. We like to refer to them as our clients. Our clients come from all over the world and from all walks of life. Each and everyone of them has a unique and beautiful story that tells the hardship, joy and sacrifice that each has gone through to make it in the United States. Each story, and each individual, is extraordinary.
In working with famous individuals such as artists, athletes and entertainers, we assume that because of their fame, the trails of making it in the United States and settling to the American way of life must be easier. But we have learned that this is not so. We are all humans and we all share the same fears, hopes and dreams. So we learn that when it comes to immigrating to this country, no matter who we are or where we come from our stories are the same.
Take for instance the story of the extraordinary musician Jon Anderson who is best known for his work with the internationally renown and Grammy award winning musical group “YES.” “YES” is one of the most decorated and celebrated musical groups of our time. The group has had a tremendous impact on rock music. “YES,” one of the biggest and most successful groups to evolve from the 70’s, led the progressive “Rock & Roll” movement throughout the 1970’s as one of the original innovators and creators of the style of music, known as “art rock.” Their talent and pioneering musical genius is a testament to their enduring success. Jon Anderson is credited as one of the musical geniuses behind the success of “YES.” Today “YES” is as vital to rock music and as popular as ever. One of this author’s favorite songs, “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” (a “YES” song of course) is still played on classic rock stations all over the United States.
Jon Anderson is considered by many in the music industry as an original pioneer of rock music whose artistic writing and playing set him apart from many others. A musical genius, Jon Anderson is placed in the same category with music greats such as Pete Townsend, Tom Petty, Chris Squire, Bruce Springstein, etc.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Jon Anderson and ask him about his extraordinary success and his immigration to the United States. Like many other professionals, Jon Anderson worked very hard to achieve his goals. Jon fell in love with America in the 70’s during one of “YES’” many tours in the United States. He tells us that he was amazed by how receptive America was to the band and to its music. He fell in love with America and its joy for life. Jon Anderson believes that America is a place where children of the world come together to make it a better place.
Even though immigrating to this country has been time consuming and at times a bit trying, Jon Anderson truly believes in the integrity of the American immigration system. He states that if one plays by the rules, it is easier to get established as a performing artist in America than it is for example in Canada, Brazil or Japan. When asked what advice he can give to other aspiring foreign artists, Jon replies, “…well you have to be willing to work very hard, be patient, and most important, obtain a proper visa and or permanent residence…”
After all of the success he has accomplished, we asked Jon, now, that he is a permanent resident what other dreams or goals are left for a superstar such as himself to accomplish. Without hesitation, Jon responded that his dream is to sing the national anthem (of the United States) at a San Francisco 49’ers game!
Jon, we think this could very likely happen.