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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

VISA APPLICATIONS FROM ARTISTS AND ENTERTAINERS


R 191738Z JUL 05
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BELIZE
AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
REO BASRAH 1689
USLO TRIPOLI
REO KIRKUK 1763
REO MOSUL 1690

UNCLAS STATE 133398

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CVIS, CMGT
SUBJECT: VISA APPLICATIONS FROM ARTISTS AND ENTERTAINERS

1.  The United States is a popular destination for artists
and entertainers from all over the world.  In FY 2004, we
issued 32,040 P-category visas for performances in the
United States.

2.  Artists, performing groups and their managers and
sponsors have the responsibility to make sure that visa
applications to perform in the United States are submitted
in a timely manner, well in advance of any scheduled
performances.  However, consular officers should also be
sensitive to the needs of performers whose schedules may
be disrupted by unforeseen events, and whenever possible,
accommodate these groups through post's normal procedures
for expediting visa applications.  Consular officers
should be especially alert to changes in a program or a
group compelled by illness, injury or other emergencies.

3.  In many cases, individual members of a performing group
traveling together to the United States may not be able to
appear at the same consulate at the same time.  There is no
requirement that individual group members apply for visas
at the same time and place.  Each member must, however,
have a copy of the approved I-129 petition in order to
apply, or evidence (such as an I-797) of notification from
DHS or the Department that such a petition has been
approved (see 9 FAM 41.56 N10.2).

4.  An approved I-129 petition for a performer is prima
facie evidence that the alien beneficiary meets the
requirements for P classification.  The large majority of
petitions approved by DHS are valid, and involve bona fide
establishments, relationships, and individual
qualifications that conform to regulations in effect at the
time the petition was filed.  The Department anticipates
that the vast majority of visas based on these petitions
can be issued without delay.  However, the Department is
aware of instances where the performer petition can be
exploited by persons who are not entitled to this status.
In such cases, performing groups and their representatives
should be given the opportunity to establish their bona
fides through evidence of past activity.  In addition,
business records of the group, especially focusing on
intended performances in the United States, can be very
helpful in this regard.  In most cases, logistical
arrangement, venues, and publicity will already be in place
before the group travels.

5.  Consular officers do not have the authority to question
the approval of P petitions without specific evidence,
unavailable to DHS at the time of petition approval, that
the beneficiary may not be entitled to status.  If such
evidence is developed by the consular officer, the I-129
petition may be returned to DHS through the Kentucky
Consular Center (KCC).

6.  In the past consular officers have requested members of
a group to actually perform in order to verify that all
members of the group are actual performers.  Consular
officers should not make a routine practice of this,
without indications that one or more of the performers is
not a bona fide member of the group.  This request is
warranted only in rare cases, as part of an anti-fraud
investigation.

7.  Minimize considered.
RICE

NNNN



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