More immigration visas are being denied and delayed for performing artists and Hollywood is not happy. The roadblocks immigration officials are placing when they request additional documentation or deny the performance visa outright result in delayed or canceled cultural exhibits, performances and movies. Many of the visa applications being denied were issued in the past using the same review standards, leading to a lot of confusion.
The “performance visas” as they are commonly referred to are granted for “artists and researchers of extraordinary ability” and processed out of the California immigration office. Visa denials for individual performers are up by almost 20% since 2008 and visas denied for performing groups are up by 27%.
Hollywood is a powerful, loud and wealthy constituency so it has the attention of Congress and the White House. Both pledging quicker processing times and more trained immigration staff.