To the attention of:
Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade
Margaritis SCHINAS, Vice-president
Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Ylva JOHANSSON, Commissioner for Home Affairs
On behalf of 192 cultural associations and organisations, Pearle* and On the Move write to call for the European Commission's specific attention and support in relation to a US proposal for change on immigration rules which will impact heavily the European cultural sector and jeopardise the EU-US cultural relations.
Last January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a proposed rule that would impose very steep increases to some of its filing fees, including for O and P artist visas applications.
This new rule proposes:
- Filing fees for regularly processed O visa petitions would increase by 260% from $460 to $1,655 per petition (this would include a $600 surcharge to fund the Asylum Program Fee).
- Filing fees for regularly-processed P visa petitions would increase by 251% from $460 to $1,615 per petition (this would include a $600 surcharge to fund the Asylum Program Fee).
- The total number of individuals on a single petition, including O and P arts petitions, would be capped at 25 beneficiaries. This would require numerous petitions for larger ensembles. For example, a visiting ballet company comprising 110 dancers (or an orchestra comprising 110 musicians), plus a handful of accompanying support staff would require 6 visa petitions rather than 2.
- The Premium Processing Service (unaffordable to most organizations at a current cost of $2,500) would take longer with USCIS redefining the timeframe from 15 calendar days to 15 business days (federal working days) in order to complete processing. As this fee was very recently increased, it is disappointing that proposed processing times would lengthen–decreasing efficiency–and fail to provide improvements after this additional funding has been realized.
Read the full letter below