Closed borders: The U.S. visa process and international cultural exchange post-September 11
This thesis analyzes recent changes in the visa process for non-immigrant workers as it relates to U.S. arts organizations, international artists, and cultural exchanges. These changes have made cultural exchange more difficult and costly. By studying the visa application procedures for international artists, this project discerns whether or not the imposed limits on artists traveling to the United States are a conscious attempt by our government to limit the freedom of ideas and expression in a post-September 11 world. Presented are five case studies on arts organizations that facilitate cultural exchange, compiled from interviews with arts presenters, advocacy experts, and immigration lawyers. These cases analyze the current issues that organizations experience with regards to exchange efforts, and attempt to discover the root causes of the challenges. Results indicate that immigration procedures are highly disorganized and decentralized, causing small and mid-size arts organizations to be more severely affected than large organizations.