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Gaffer from Germany looking for working possibilies in the US

Johannes Eckert

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Hello everyone,


As the title says, I'm a gaffer from Germany, 22 years old and currently train as an event technician at the WDR studios in Cologne, Germany.

Event technician is the official term for the apprenticeship, which includes studio work as well as live situations such as concerts and parties. However, most of the time I work as a gaffer in a studio environment.

As far as i know the dual education system in Germany is somewhat different to most other countries, so here you can get further information, in case its important.


So my contract will end in about a year and i feel like I need a new challenge, see how other people work in order to advance my skills.


Anyway, what I wanted to ask you is, whats the best way to get this going?

I know that I need to find a job in advance to get a working visa. How do you see that chances of finding an employer who is willing to put himself in the struggle of bringing me to the country?

Whats the best platform to look for jobs?


I'm glad for every piece of information on this topic as I feel kinda lost in the jungle the breaks open when you google for media jobs.


Thanks in advance!


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How do you see that chances of finding an employer who is willing to put himself in the struggle of bringing me to the country?




I'm not with INS of course but I have had experience with the US work VISA system. Sorry to tell you, there is zero chance of this happening. Even if you found an employer in the US that would be willing to go through hoop after hoop to get you into the USA. There is zero chance the INS would approve a work VISA for a gaffer. There are simply far too many Americans available to do this work. In order for employers to be successful in hiring foreign citizens they need to prove to the INS that no suitable American candidate can be found.


There is an O-1 Visa, you may find this link helpful.




There is no way a gaffer would ever qualify. Essentially this is for foreign nationals that have won majors awards as say a director and have a track record in the film business.


Your only chance really is to marry an American or win the green card lottery. These work VISAs have also been greatly reduced in the USA as the country is in a period of high unemployment.



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