May 23rd, 2012 by Eric J. Ramos
USCIS Administrative Appeals Office has issued a precedent decision which addresses the term ‘culturally unique’. This decision also addresses its importance in the assessment of applications for performing artists and entertainers.
This decision is a result of the denied performing artists’ visa, which was filed by the Skirball Cultural Center. This cultural center filed a P-3 non-immigrant visa petition on behalf of a musical group from Argentina. Their visa was denied as they failed to establish that the performance of the group was culturally unique. This visa requires the applicants to demonstrate that they are culturally unique, for the visa classification.
This issue was regarded as remarkably complex. Hence the decision was recommended for a reassessment due to the probability that the same issue may arise in forthcoming decisions. Administrative Appeals Office of the USCIS authorized the petition after reassessing the whole record. This review included testimony written by experts and validating the evidence on behalf of the musical band.
The USCIS is required to make a factual determination regarding the regulatory explanation of the term “culturally unique”, based on the different cases. Hence, the precedent decision elucidates that a culturally unique style of art or entertainment is not only restricted to traditional forms of art. The decision states that it may include artistic aspects which are considered to be hybrid or fusion of one or more cultures or regions.
The precedent decisions support the commitment of the USCIS towards its consistency in the management of the immigration benefits. This precedent decision is the third decision issued since 2010. Precedent conclusions are administrative decisions. Those decisions are legally valid and connected to the components of DHS, which are responsible for implementing immigration laws in all legal proceedings involving the aforesaid issue.
This decision is chosen and designated as precedent by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security along with the agreement of the Attorney General.