Thursday, February 9th, 2017

U.S. Visa Rules Deprive Stages of Performers

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"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