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APAP|365 > Action > Advocacy > Foreign Guest Artist Visas

Visas for International Artists

What Is At Stake

Many U.S. nonprofit performing arts organizations partner with guest artists from abroad to create enriching international cultural experiences in their communities. Petitioners often navigate an uncertain process for gaining approval for O and P visas to bring those artists to the United States. Difficulties include lengthy processing times, inconsistent interpretations of requirements and unwarranted requests for further evidence.

In February 2016, the Arts Require Timely Service Act (ARTS) was reintroduced in the Senate by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The bill (S. 2510) would make the visa process more reliable and affordable. It would require that if a petition filed on or behalf of a U.S. nonprofit arts organization isn’t processed within the 14 days required by statute, USCIS would have to treat that petition as a Premium Processing case free of charge.

The Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) is working to raise awareness in Congress of the need for an improved visa process with the goal of the ARTS Act being signed into law.

What We Are Asking Right Now

We urge Congress to:

  • Enact the Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act, S. 2510, which will require U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure timely processing of petitions filed by, or on behalf of, nonprofit arts-related organizations.
  • Take steps, in cooperation with the Administration, to persuade USCIS to take ongoing immediate administrative action to improve the artist visa process.

Learn more and take action in the Performing Arts Alliance Arts Advocacy Issue Center.

Information provided by the Performing Arts Alliance.
APAP is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance.​

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