Senate Immigration Bill Would Ease Artists’ Visa Requests

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The US Senate recently approved an immigration bill which includes easing foreign artists’ entry into the country. According to The Art Newspaper:

US-visa-delays-10716The 1,200-page bill, which offers a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, also requires the government to process artists’ visa requests within one month of their initial filing. Under the current system, artists can wait up to six months for a visa and must pay a fee of $1,225 to receive expedited service…

…The passage of the Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act, part of the immigration bill, “would be huge”, says Tom Finkelpearl, the director of the Queens Museum in New York. The amendment would enable museums to schedule foreign artists to give lectures, teach courses and complete residencies more easily. The Queens Museum’s artists-in-residence, for example, receive only three months’ notice that they have been accepted into the programme and “that’s not a lot of time to get a visa”, Finkelpearl says.

The Washington DC-based arts advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, on its website, notes:

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The ARTS Act seeks to improve visa processing for foreign guest artists preparing to perform in the United States, and its inclusion is an important step forward to ensuring efficient and reliable processing of nonprofit arts-related visa petitions. Soon, the U.S. House of Representatives will begin drafting their version of an immigration bill, and Americans for the Arts will continue working with our coalition partners to get the ARTS Act included in the House legislation as well.

You can read the entire news article here. Americans for the Arts’ action paper on the ARTS Act is here.