Can I Re-Use an Old Union Consult Letter for a Visa Petition?

By Brian Taylor Goldstein, Esq.

Dear Law and Disorder:

Last year I filed a P-1 petition for a group. I obtained a consult letter from AFM. When I filed a petition for their 2013 tour, the USCIS said I needed to get a new consult letter. I thought that union opinion letters are good for 3 years? Did that rule change?

No, nothing’s changed. There’s just a bit of confusion, that’s all. Union consultations for O-1B petitions are good for 2 years provided the artist is performing within 2 years of the date of the original union consultation letter. If that’s the case, then you don’t need to get a new one. However, this has never been the rule with P-1 petitions or any other category: O-2, P-1S, etc.

So, if you obtained an O-1B for an opera singer and you have an AGMA consult letter dated October 1, 2012, then that same consult letter can be used for subsequent O-1B petitions for the singer’s subsequent engagements through October 1, 2014. You just need to be able to provide a copy of the prior consultation letter. Even if the original consult letter was written for a different petitioner, you can still use it. It’s the identity of the artist that counts. However, if you obtained a P-1 for a group and you have an AFM consult letter dated October 1, 2012, then any and all new petitions will require new consult letters.

In your case, I assume you received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS. You just need to get a new consultation letter from AFM and attach it to your RFE response. That should do the trick.

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THE OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER:

THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE!

The purpose of this blog is to provide general advice and guidance, not legal advice. Please consult with an attorney familiar with your specific circumstances, facts, challenges, medications, psychiatric disorders, past-lives, karmic debt, and anything else that may impact your situation before drawing any conclusions, deciding upon a course of action, sending a nasty email, filing a lawsuit, or doing anything rash!

Tags: 3 years, afm, agma, Brian Taylor, consultation letter, consultations, engagements, Goldstein, petitioner, rfe, uscis, visa petition

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