Visa Petitioners – especially Texans – take note of filing address changes!

October 13, 2017

Orchestras that engage foreign guest artists should note an important change that may affect where to send visa petitions. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that effective October 12, 2017, regardless where temporary work in the U.S. will take place, petitions should be filed based on the primary company/organizational location of the petitioner. This applies to single employer and multiple-employer petitions. If an orchestra utilizes another entity to serve as its petitioner (e.g. a law firm, artist management agency, another orchestra, etc.), that official petitioner's location determines whether to file in California or Vermont. Please refer to our updated Service Center Tips for a complete list of which states correspond to which service center (and note that Texas petitioners now file with the California Service Center!), as well as which addresses to use.

To recap, for all O and P petitions, the primary location of the petitioner's company or organization will determine whether I-129 materials are sent to California or Vermont Service Center, and Texas-based petitioners are now in the California Service Center jurisdiction. Petitioners have until November 11, 2017 to adjust to these changes; from that date onward, USCIS may reject Form I-129s that are filed at the wrong service center. The League is standing by to help orchestras with the visa process. Please send any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
 
Closures affect Cuba, Russia, and Turkey
Foreign guest artists located in Cuba, Russia, and Turkey will need to make alternate arrangements to receive a U.S. visa following a series of consular closures.
  • In late August, all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia were suspended. Although visa operations were to have resumed in Moscow on September 1, some petitioners have reported artists have been unable to secure timely appointments.
  • Last Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State ordered the departure of nonemergency U.S. government employees in Cuba, suspending most visa processing in Havana and providing only emergency services to U.S. citizens.
  • Earlier this week, all non-immigrant visa services were suspended at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey.
Any artists in these countries that need to seek a visa are advised to apply for a visa at another visa-issuing U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Cuba, Russia, and Turkey.