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Can I (Canadian) return to the USA with my O-1 visa while the border remains closed?

I made the decision at the end of March to return to Canada due to the Coronavirus. I lost all sources of income and decided to go stay with my sister in Ontario while I figured out my next move. I am an actor based in NYC and my O-1 is good until end of 2021.

I've been back in Canada for two months now and I wonder whether I'll be able to go back to New York while the border is still closed. The information I found online was unclear. I would be traveling for work as I possess an O-1 work visa, but I am not an essential worker. Furthermore, would the border patrol officer turn me away when I say my O-1 is for acting, seeing as production is halted on the vast majority of film/tv/theatre projects?

To make things even more interesting, my American partner of nine years and I have decided to get married so I can file for a green card; my immigration lawyer suggests I do this from the US, but I just have to get myself there first...

tl;dr: Canadian actor who was living in NYC on an O-1 visa went back to Canada for two months due to covid. What are my chances of successfully returning to NYC on my current O-1 while the border is still closed?

submitted by /u/lavaille
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