Avoiding A Trip to A U.S. Consulate

Depending on the consulate and a person’s nationality, a “renewal by mail” option is “sometimes” available for artists who are applying for the same visa (O, P, F, etc) within 1 year of the last one. For example, a famous conductor who comes to the U.S. each year on O-1 visas and who gets approved for a new one within 12 months of the last one, may insist that he remain on his beach chair on the Costa del Sol and have his manager mail in his passport and visa application to the consulate and a request a waiver of a personal interview. However, the process is discretionary and the consulate can always insist on an interview—which they almost always do anyway these days. While its less likely for them to refuse an interview waiver for an O-1 visa, they will almost always do so for O-2 and P visas. We also know of artists whose passports have been lost in a consulate’s mail room or even sent to the wrong consulate.

We recently had a manager contact us about at artist who was approved for an O-1 visa and who selected the option to apply for her visa by mail rather to come in for an in-person interview…and then had her application refused and was told she needed to come in for an interview anyway. By the time she get her passport back in the mail to her, it was too late for her to schedule an interview, travel to the consulate, and get the visa in time for her U.S. date. So, the date had to be cancelled.

The good news, such as it is, is that having an application “refused” is not the same thing as a “denial” so it will not impact future applications. The bad news is that it make cause delays and subsequent date cancellations as in this case.

Given the less than welcoming nature of the U.S. these days, we recommend that even if one is, in fact, eligible to renew a visa by mail, artists should ALWAYS go to a consulate for an interview anyway. Put down the mojito and tell Maestro Altercocker he needs to go to Madrid.


For additional information and resources on this and other legal, project management, and business issues for the performing arts, as well as to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on social media visit ggartslaw.com


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!





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