National Endowment for the Arts
| Charitable Giving
| White Space
Delays and inconsistencies by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have made it difficult in the past for international artists to obtain the visas required for entry into the United States. Nonprofit arts organizations confront uncertainty in gaining approval for visa petitions due to lengthy processing times, inconsistent interpretation of statute and implementation of policies, expense, and unwarranted requests for further evidence.
Delays began when USCIS adopted a Premium Processing Service (PPS) in June 2001, guaranteeing processing within 15 calendar days at an unaffordable cost for most nonprofit arts organizations -- $1,225 per petition. Prior to the creation of PPS, regular O and P visa processing took an average of 45 days, but since then processing has varied widely, ranging from 45 days to six months. Global cultural exchange is important now more than ever. American nonprofit arts organizations provide an important public service by presenting foreign guest artists in performances, educational events, and cultural programs in communities across the country.
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]