×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DGA, IATSE Applaud Bill to Curb Foreign Visa Abuse

The Directors Guild of America and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have applauded the passage of a bill to prevent fraudulent U.S. visas from being issued to foreign directors and crew members.

The House of Representatives approved the bi-partisan legislation — H.R. 3636, the Oversee Visa Integrity with Stakeholder Advisories (O-Visa) Act — on Monday. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate.

If enacted, the legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security to notify the DGA and IATSE of  approvals or denials of the O visas for foreign directors and crew members seeking to work on films and TV series shot in the U.S.

“This bipartisan bill is an important step in providing a level of transparency that will help ensure the security and integrity of the USCIS-administered O-1B and O-2 visa program which admits foreign directors, members of the director’s team, and craftspeople with extraordinary ability to temporarily work in the U.S on motion picture production,” the DGA and IATSE said.

The O visa program was established by Congress in 1990 to temporarily admit foreign directors, members of the director’s team, craftspeople, artists and athletes to include “who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.”

The program requires that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services consult with appropriate organizations — including IATSE, the DGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — regarding the validity of applicants in their areas.

“While the vast majority of those seeking O-1B and O-2 visas use the programs appropriately, for years we have expressed our concerns that the USCIS has been approving fraudulent applications that have not been subject to any review, and has refused to even notify us when insufficient applications are approved over our valid objections – undermining the statutory mandate and preventing us from fulfilling our obligations to Congress in this very important area,” the DGA and IATSE said.

“By requiring the USCIS to give us notice of a final visa ruling, we will be better able to assist them in identifying fraud and abuse, as well as protecting our national security,” they added.

The bill’s authors are Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). The unions thanked them along with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers for their expertise and guidance; Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren for her unwavering support; and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for moving this legislation to its final passage.

The AMPTP said in a statement, “We applaud Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA), Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and the rest of the House of Representatives on the passage of H.R. 3636. The O1-B visa program plays an important role in U.S. film and television production, and this bill is a big step in the right direction to help protect its integrity.”

More Film

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content