The USCIS recently issued a precedent decision concerning the P-3 Visa for “Culturally Unique” artists. The precedent decision goes to the heart of the matter – what does “culturally unique” mean?
Since its inception, the P-3 Visa has been used by culturally unique artists and entertainers coming to the United States to develop, interpret, represent, coach, or teach their discipline or art. Culturally Unique is defined by the regulations to mean, “a style of artistic expression, methodology, or medium which is unique to a particular country, nation, society, class, ethnicity, religion, tribe, or other group of persons.”
Most artists or entertainers can easily demonstrate their cultural uniqueness. However, other artists or entertainers ran into difficulties when their discipline involved multiple cultural backgrounds – or were a fusion of different cultures.
The precedent decision (hopefully) clears up any ambiguity and indicates that “culturally unique” includes artistic expression that is a hybrid or fusion of more than one culture or region.
Hopefully the new ruling will open up the visa to more artists and entertainers. As has been reported, many groups have been hindered from performing in the United States due to immigration restrictions.