In a front page article in Thursday’s (12/10) Wall Street Journal, Miriam Jordan writes that  “immigration law gives an anonymous group of government bureaucrats a lot of cultural clout: They can decide which foreign ballerinas, musicians and artists qualify as ‘outstanding,’ or special enough to deserve a visa to enter the U.S. Ultimately, most applications are approved. Some organizations and promoters representing artists complain that official judgments of artistic merit are often arbitrary, however. … Artists who wish to visit the U.S. for a performance typically need a P-1 visa; a P-3 visa, issued to entertainers participating in a culturally unique program; or an O-1 visa, for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, education or sciences. … The officials’ rulings have led to delays, cancellations and additional expenses for orchestras, museums and nonprofit arts organizations.”

Posted December 10, 2009