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New Service Provides U.S. Visa Assistance

April 7, 2015 - There's a new hotline providing performing arts professionals with urgent legal assistance regarding U.S. visa issues. TamizdatAVAIL supplements existing resources with free advices by qualified staff and volunteer lawyers.

U.S. Citizen and Immigration ServicesAVAIL is a non-profit pro bono legal hotline. It serves the international performing arts community by providing free information and advice on foreign artist visa-related issues. AVAIL's legal staff assists performing arts professionals who are experiencing problems with the U.S. government during the visa process, after the filing of an I-129 petition. AVAIL is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and operated in cooperation with the New York Law School and leading arts advocacy organizations.

TamizdatAVAIL is also a research and advocacy initiative. Tamizdat’s legal staff collects and analyzes current case data on artist visa issues encountered by the performing arts community, and monitors trends in U.S.C.I.S. and Department of State processing and policy. The findings are published in AVAIL Dispatch, a monthly newsletter which will shed light on processing issues and provide relevant government agencies with information about their strengths and weaknesses. If you want to help Tamizdat with these research and advocacy endeavours, you can fill out a form to share information about any challenge you may have experienced during processing of a P or O visa in the past.

TamizdatAVAIL is a great resource, and it's not the only one out there:

  • The excellent website www.artistsfromabroad.org is a complete guide on immigration and tax requirements for foreign guest artists, their managers, and performing arts organizations. You definitely should visit this website before you file your first I-129 petition.
  • If you'd rather leave immigration and tax matters into the hands of professionals, GAMI/Simmonds provides a range of services.


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