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Matter of SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER, ID 3752, 25 I&N Dec. 799 (AAO 2012)

May 16, 2012 (1 min read)

Matter of SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER, ID 3752, 25 I&N Dec. 799 (AAO 2012) - (1) Congress did not define the term “culturally unique,” as used in section 101(a)(15)(P)(iii) of the Immigration andNationalityAct, 8U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(P)(iii) (2006), leaving reasonable construction of that term to the expertise of the agency charged with adjudicating P-3 nonimmigrant visa petitions. (2) The term “culturally unique,” as defined at 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(p)(3) (2012), is not limited to traditional art forms, but may include artistic expression that is deemed to be a hybrid or fusion of more than one culture or region. (3) As the regulatory definition provides for the cultural expression of a particular “group of persons,” the definition may apply to beneficiaries whose unique artistic expression crosses regional, ethnic, or other boundaries. (4) The regulatory definition of “culturally unique” calls for a case-by-case factual determination. (5) The petitioner bears the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the beneficiaries’ artistic expression, while drawing from diverse influences, is unique to an identifiable group of persons with a distinct culture; it is the weight and quality of evidence that establishes whether or not the artistic expression is “culturally unique.”