Nonimmigrant Visas:

Use of Visas By Alien Artists, Entertainers, and Athletes

NSIAD-94-147: Published: May 11, 1994. Publicly Released: May 11, 1994.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the use of O and P visas by alien artists, entertainers, athletes, and their related support personnel seeking nonimmigrant entry into the United States, focusing on the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) progress in: (1) fulfilling its reporting requirements; and (2) analyzing the occupations of aliens whose petitions for visas are approved.

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal year 1993, INS approved petitions for nearly 41,000 O and P visas, the State Department issued about 23,000 O and P visas, and 31,000 aliens holding O and P visas entered the United States; (2) legislation requires the Attorney General to report to Congress annually on the occupations of aliens seeking O and P visas; (3) the April 1993 report was presented to Congress nearly a year late because it had been lost during processing; (4) INS is developing an automated database system to strengthen its data gathering and compile data on the occupations of aliens whose petitions for O and P visas are approved; (5) of the O and P visas that were approved for aliens artists, entertainers, and athletes, between 68 and 84 percent were for internationally recognized musicians and composers and between 5 and 9 percent were for athletes; and (6) INS presently uses statistical sampling to estimate the occupations of visa petitioners.

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