February 9, 2016 – If you are regularly touring in the U.S., you will be aware that there are substantial processing delays at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers.
While they used to deliver notices in 3-4 weeks, USCIS service centers are now reportedly taking a minimum of 8-10 weeks to process petitions, with Vermont taking even longer. This has forced many visa petitioners to pay expensive premium processing fees or run the risk of cancelling performances.
In order to make the visa process more reliable and affordable, legislation was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate. The Arts Require Timely Service Act, S. 2510, would improve opportunities for international cultural activity by ensuring that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes artist visas on time.
The League of American Orchestras is currently running a campaign to garner support for the Act.
Resources on U.S. Immigration and Taxation
Artists from Abroad is a comprehensive guide on immigration and tax requirements for foreign guest artists, their managers, and performing arts organizations. This website is highly recommended for first-time I-129 petitioners.
tamizdatAVAIL is a non-profit pro bono legal hotline for arts professionals who require urgent legal assistance regarding visa issues.
Recent and Related News