Thursday, June 21st, 2018

U.S. Visa Rules Deprive Stages of Performers

"In the decade since the attacks on the twin towers, American visa
procedures for foreign artists and performers have grown increasingly
labyrinthine, expensive and arbitrary, arts presenters and immigration
lawyers say, making the system a serious impediment to cultural
exchanges with the rest of the world. … Overall, according to Homeland Security Department records, requests for
the standard foreign performer’s visa declined by almost 25 percent
between 2006 and 2010, the most recent fiscal year for which statistics
are available. During the same period the number of these visa petitions
rejected, though small in absolute numbers, rose by more than
two-thirds. … [S]ome large ensembles are now simply avoiding the United States. In 2006,
for example, the Hallé orchestra of Manchester, England, canceled an
American tour that was to include a performance at Lincoln Center after
orchestra administrators calculated that complying with visa regulations