Visa Bill Update/Briefing:On April 1, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to improve the artist visa process. The “Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act” (HR 1312) is sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and 10 other bipartisan leaders, and would improve the reliability, efficiency and affordability of the artist visa process. The legislation would require the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to treat as a Premium Processing case, free of any additional charge, any arts-related O and P visa petition that it fails to process within 30 days. The next step is for the legislation to be approved by the U.S. Senate. A similar bill has already been introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Further background and updates on the Senate bill will be posted here: http://www.americanartsalliance.org/americanartsalliance/aaa_home_page.html And here: http://www.tcg.org/advocacy/news.cfm.