Nonimmigrant Visas:

Requirements Affecting Artists, Entertainers, and Athletes

NSIAD-93-6: Published: Oct 26, 1992. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 1992.

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GAO provided information on artists, entertainers, and athletes, focusing on: (1) U.S. visa policy; (2) barriers to employment of U.S. artists, entertainers, and athletes abroad; and (3) barriers to having U.S. artists, entertainers, and athletes' arts and skills embodied in products disseminated in those countries.

GAO found that: (1) information on the use of the new O and P type visas is not yet available; (2) the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) often does not collect occupational data for O and P visa petitioners in its automated system; (3) through July 1992, INS had approved 1 O-1 visa, 47 P-1 visas, and 155 P-3 visas; (4) INS reports that no one has yet entered the United States using O or P type visas; (5) in fiscal year (FY) 1991, approximately 21,000 artists and entertainers entered the countries using H-1B visas; (6) half of the European Community lacks visa requirements specifically for U.S. artists, entertainers, and athletes for visits of up to 90 days; (7) U.S. artists, entertainers, and athletes experience relatively few problems travelling and working abroad, and foreign promoters usually handle the foreign visa process; (8) in FY 1991, the U.S. economy lost $3.9 billion due to piracy of copyrighted entertainment materials; (9) the European Community requires that its entertainment broadcast time be reserved for programs of European origin, while the United States has no such requirements; and (10) the United States has consulted with the European Community regarding entertainment exports reserved under General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade rights.

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