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Visa Fraud Measures Expand to Athletes, Artists, Entertainers

Feb. 8, 2019, 6:26 PM

Labor unions in the sports, arts, and entertainment industries now can tell the immigration agency directly if they don’t recommend that someone get a temporary visa.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Feb. 8 that it will accept negative consultation letters directly from unions weighing in on P visas, which cover athletes, artists, entertainers, and their essential support personnel. The agency made a similar announcement in September, saying it would accept letters from unions about candidates for O “extraordinary ability” visas.

Both O and P visa applicants generally must obtain an advisory opinion from a labor union as part of their visa petition package.

Some labor unions have expressed concern that petitioners are sending false opinion letters indicating that the union either has a favorable view of the visa candidate or doesn’t object to the visa being issued, the agency said. Petitioners still must include a letter, but the agency will compare it with the one submitted directly by the union.

As with O visa petitions, unions can send negative consultation letters directly to the USCIS at UnionConsultationMailbox@uscis.dhs.gov.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at lfrancis@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cynthia Harasty at charasty@bloomberglaw.com; Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com

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