USCIS Has Officially Raised Premium Processing to $2500 EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 19, 2020… and an update on National Interest Waivers while we’re at it.

The Screaming Demon Pumpkin and his festering goblins of anal carbuncles JUST announced TODAY that it was raising the premium processing fee from $1440 to $2500 effective this Monday, October 19, 2020.

Any petitions postmarked after October 19, 2020 will be returned if they do not have the higher fee. Whilst I expect this to be challenged in court, we are stuck with it until a court issues an injunction.

An injunction still remains in place on the new I-129 fees and forms for O and P petitions.


National Interest Waiver Exceptions to the Covid Travel Ban

Many of you continue to as about requesting a National Interest Waiver NIW) so that artists can fly to the U.S. from certain countries without first having to quarantine in a third country (such as Canada) before entering. While that possibility still exists, please be aware that everything is in significant flux these days. As Covid cases to continue to rise in both the U.S. and around the world, the National Interest Waiver may be discontinued at ANY time. This means that, for example, if an artist applies for a waiver and receives one for to travel to the U.S. in November, the waiver could be revoked between now and then. Worse, if the artist travels to Europe and the waiver is revoked after arrival, and the artist actually resides in the U.S. and is not either a green card holder or is not married to a U.S. citizen, they will be trapped outside of the U.S.

For as long as the option remains, NIW requests can be made either through a U.S. Consulate or at a United States Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) office at the U.S. airport where the artist intends to arrive. Due to the Covid travel ban, many U.S. Consulates in Europe are either not taking appointments or only scheduling appointments for 6 months in the future. If an artist has been approved for a visa, but needs to get a visa stamp, they will need to make an appointment at U.S. Consulate and then request an emergency appointment and submit a NIW request. If an artist already has a valid visa, then they can request a NIW through the USCBP office at whatever U.S. airport where they intend to arrive.  

1.         Apply for a National Interest Waiver at a U.S. Consulate

Every consulate has its own rules and procedures for how to do this, but, generally:

            >>>Contact the U.S. Consulate in whichever country you are physically located    no earlier than 30 days prior to the date of travel

            >>>Explain that you have an immediate need to travel to the U.S. within 30 days and cannot quarantine in a third country

            >>>Provide a letter from your venue, presenter, employer, etc. explaining why it    is critical that you be physically present in the U.S, that your work or performance is essential to them, and that it cannot be done remotely or via       “streaming” outside of the U.S.

            >>>Agree to quarantine for 14 days after your arrival in the U.S.

You will then need remain while this is pending. If the waiver is granted, you will be sent a letter to present to an immigration officer when entering the U.S.

You will need to check the website of the specific U.S. Consulate where you intend to apply for specific instructions.

2.         Apply for a National Interest Waiver from USCBP

Contact the USCBP office at whatever U.S. airport where they intend to arrive. This needs to be done before travel and the requirements are generally, more or less, somewhat, similar as those listed above for consulates. However, of course, each airport has a different procedure and there is no oversight, so you will need to visa the USCBP website for the specific airport where you intend to apply for specific instructions.

GG Arts Law provides a comprehensive range of legal services and strategic support for the performing arts, including: Artist Visas, Taxes, and Touring; Rights & Licensing; Negotiations & Representation; Contracts; Business & Non-Profit Organization & Management; Project Management; and Strategic Consulting & Planning.




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 or threatening email to someone, filing a lawsuit, or basically doing anything that may in any way rely upon an assumption that we know what we are talking about.

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