U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) recently issued a binding precedent decision addressing the term “culturally unique” and its significance in the adjudication of petitions for performing artists and entertainers.
The decision clarifies that a “culturally unique” style of art or entertainment is not limited to traditional art forms, but may include artistic expression that is deemed to be a hybrid or fusion of more than one culture or region.
Athletes and entertainers entering to perform in a “culturally unique” program are issued P-3 visas. The individual or group must show some evidence of distinction in the art form or sport. A majority of the group must have worked together for at least a year, a petition must be filed with the immigration service by a U.S. agent, presenter or employer, including a contract and itinerary stating where and when the group will perform or compete, and a labor advisory opinion from a union or peer group is required. The maximum period of initial admission is three years, if supported by contracts and itinerary, and P-3 status may be extended for a maximum stay of five years.
Precedent decisions are administrative decisions that are legally binding on DHS components responsible for enforcing immigration laws in all proceedings involving the same issue.
If you have questions on how this decision may affect your eligibility for P-3 visa classification, please contact Managing Partner Michael Wildes at email@example.com.
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