A recent bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives ensures that Producers in the American Film Industry do not replace American Film Workers with unqualified foreign Directors & Movie Crews. The bill has enacted amendments to the “Immigration and Nationality Act”, which requires Department of Homeland Security issue copies on the outcome of petitions for O-1/O-2 visas for hiring foreign workforce by the Director’s Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Presently, the AMPTP and Unions can only provide advice on the qualifications of the O1/O2 visa applicants; however, they are not informed about the outcome of their petition.
The bill “Oversee Visa Integrity with Stakeholder Advisories Act (H.R. 3636)”, has garnered support from industry associations like the DGA and IATSE that called it a step towards ensuring better transparency, Security and Integrity of the O-1/O-2 visa program. The visa program allows directors, crews and artists who have exhibited an extraordinary talent, to temporarily work in the U.S. with Motion Picture Production Companies.
The Unions, in a stamen said that majority of the people seeking the O-1/O-2 visas was genuine; however, it had raised concerns in the past to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), about fraudulent applications that have been approved without a review. The Department of homeland Security has previously refused to notify the union about approved applications despite valid objections from the Union, undermining the statutory mandate and its obligations to the Congress. The union said, the new bill would ensure that the USCIS is better equipped to make decisions and prevent cases of fraud.
The AMPTP specially lauded Representatives of the house, Congressman Jerry Nadler (Democrat from New York) and Congresswoman – Mimi Walters (Republican from California), for passing the landmark bill, stated Jarryd Gonzales, spokesperson for the AMPTP. The bill has to be further passed by the members of the senate and Signed by the President to be enacted as a law.
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