We are writing to ask for your help with an issue that is vital to international artists, agents, presenters and anyone who employs non-citizens for employment in the United States: the timely processing of O and P arts visas.We encourage you to support the Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act, S. 2510, which would improve processing for visa petitions filed by, or on behalf of, nonprofit arts-related organizations by simply ensuring enforcement of current statutory requirements.
Action now will ensure that the U.S. visa process for artists is reliable, efficient, and affordable. Congress recognized the time-sensitive nature of the arts when writing the 1991 federal law, which instructs USCIS to process O and P arts visasin 14 days. The ARTS Act would require USCIS to treat as a Premium Processing case (15-day turnaround) any nonprofit arts-related O and P visa petitions that it fails to adjudicate within the statutory timeframe, free of additional charge.
As you know, American nonprofit arts - in communities large and small - provide an important public service and boost international diplomacy by presenting highly sought-after foreign guest artists in performances and educational events. The inconsistency of the visa process has extremely harmful results to touring international artists, U.S. presenting organizations, their audiences and American artists who are scheduled to work with international talent. Enactment of this provision will make enduring improvements to the visa process. Previous consideration of the ARTS Act has had strong bipartisan support.
Folk Alliance International has joined with organizations across the United States in support of the ARTS Act, including the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), American Federation of Musicians (AFM), Americans for the Arts, Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP), League of American Orchestras (LAO), The Recording Academy and the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
We urge you to learn more about S. 2510 and write your Senator to let them know why the ARTS Act needs to become law.
Learn more about the ARTS Act through the LAO and write your Senators.
Ask friends and fans to show their support through social media, email and word of mouth.