U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said that

effective February 8, 2019, the agency has begun accepting copies

of negative consultation letters directly from labor unions

relating to current or future P nonimmigrant visa petitions. USCIS

noted that a consultation letter from a U.S. labor organization is

generally required for petitions in the P visa classification,

which covers athletes, artists, entertainers, and their essential

support personnel.

Typically, a petitioner submits the necessary P visa

consultation with the petition, and that process requirement

remains unchanged. After reported concerns from labor unions that

some consultation letters, also known as advisory opinions, may

have been falsified by petitioners and submitted to USCIS as

no-objections or favorable consultations, when in fact they were

negative, USCIS announced that it would begin accepting copies of

negative consultation letters for O visa petitions. USCIS is now

expanding this to P visa petitions, and labor unions can send

copies of negative O or P visa petition consultation letters

directly to USCIS so that they can be compared to the consultation

letter submitted by the O or P petitioner.

P nonimmigrant visas are available for individuals coming to the

U.S. temporarily to:

  • Perform at a specific athletic

    competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or

    team, at an internationally recognized level of performance (P-1A).

    P athletes include:

    • Internationally recognized

      athletes

    • Certain professional athletes,

      certain amateur athletes or coaches, and professional or amateur

      athletes performing in a theatrical ice skating production under

      the COMPETE Act

  • Perform as a member of an

    entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as

    outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial

    period of time (P-1B);

  • Perform as an artist or entertainer,

    individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a

    reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the U.S. and

    an organization in another country (P-2); or

  • Perform, teach, or coach as artists

    or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a

    program that is culturally unique (P-3).

USCIS said labor unions should send copies of negative P

nonimmigrant consultation letters to UnionConsultationMailbox@uscis.dhs.gov.

Unions should only send copies of negative consultation letters for

O and P petitions to that emailbox. To ensure USCIS matches the

consultation letters to the appropriate petitions, labor unions

should include each beneficiary's name and the last five digits

of the beneficiary's passport number on the consultation

letters.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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