Artist Visa Issues Persist, PAA Engaged in Advocacy for Faster Processing, Improvements

Nov 22, 2010

Securing visas in a timely fashion for artists coming to the U.S. from abroad continues to be an issue in the performing arts field (see "Lincoln Center Scrambles After Visa Problems", The New York Times, November 15, 2010).

The Performing Arts Alliance is actively advocating for positive change in artist visa processing through more streamlined and expeditious processing, and reports the following on the subject:


USCIS Promises Major Visa Improvements

According to senior officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), processing times for regularly-filed artist visa petitions will not exceed 14 days.  In a meeting with public stakeholders on July 20, the agency also promised significant improvements to the quality of artist visa processing will soon be underway as the agency undergoes a major effort to revise its policy and training programs for the two service centers that process the O and P visas used by artists travelling to the United States for performances.

These comments come in response to requests from the nonprofit performing arts community and following significant intervention by leaders in the House, Senate, and the White House Domestic Policy Council.  The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) has been advocating for improvements in partnership with national colleagues in the Performing Arts Visa Working Group.

More Background from PAA on their Advocacy Work on Artist Visas:

Arts Community Submits Comments to USCIS

On May 11, in response to concerns expressed by the PAA and the broader national performing arts community, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) opened a public comment period on one aspect of the artist visa process:  the amount of time allowable between multiple engagements in a single visa approval period.

The PAA, in partnership with the Performing Arts Visa Working Group, submitted detailed comments to USCIS.  Please click here to read the full comments.

The Artists from Abroad website is a comprehensive and current resource for immigration and tax issues for foreign guest artists. The News Flash section includes information about the visa petition filing fee increase, effective November 23, 2010 and other related news.

The League of American Orchestras provides outstanding resources on their website related to artist visa processing and tax issues. Be sure to check out the links on the left side of the page.

"Chinese Dancers" Image by Galeno is in the public domain, accessed via Wikimedia Commons.

Tags: Artist Visas, International, Performing Arts Alliance, PAA

Sub Categories

ADVOCACY: Performing Arts Alliance