"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Administrative
Appeals Office (AAO) today issued a binding precedent decision
addressing the term “culturally unique” and its significance in the
adjudication of petitions for performing artists and entertainers.
In the case at issue, the Skirball Cultural Center filed a P-3
nonimmigrant petition on behalf of a musical group from Argentina that
was denied a performing artists’ visa for failing to establish that the
group’s performance was “culturally unique” as required for this visa
classification. Due to the unusually complex and novel issue and the
likelihood that the same issue could arise in future decisions, the
decision was recommended for review.
USCIS’s AAO approved the petition after its review of the entire
record, which included expert written testimony and corroborating
evidence on behalf of the musical group. The regulatory definition of
“culturally unique” requires USCIS to make a case-by-case factual
determination. The decision clarifies that a “culturally unique” style
of art or entertainment 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." - USCIS, May 15, 2012.