Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3636, the Oversee Visa Integrity with Stakeholder Advisories (O-VISA) Act, which Representative Mimi Walters (R-California) introduced along with Representative Jerrold Nadler (D- New York). This legislation will require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide copies of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)’s O-1 and O-2 Visa application decisions to the private stakeholder organizations that submitted the required advisory opinions. Speaking about the bill’s passage Representative Mimi Walters (CA-45) said:
“I am pleased that the House of Representatives passed the O-VISA Act today. This bipartisan legislation is an important step to secure the O-Visa program, reduce fraud, and protect American jobs. It would improve the ability to detect potential fraud and abuse, and in doing so, help ensure the integrity of the O-Visa program. This all comes at no cost to the taxpayer. I thank my colleagues for their support, and I will continue to work to ensure the integrity of our immigration system.”
- In 1990, Congress established specific O-Visas categories to allow for the employment of non-immigrants with extraordinary achievement in film and television production.
- In order to protect American jobs, Congress provided that USCIS must consult with the appropriate private stakeholder organizations to confirm the validity of each visa application.
- While the majority of those seeking these visas use the programs appropriately, there are troubling indications of fraudulent applications.
- The O-VISA Act will require the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide copies of USCIS’ O-Visa application decisions to the private stakeholder organizations that submitted the required advisory opinions; this will dramatically increase transparency in the visa determination process and ensure a reliable O-Visa program.
Walters represents California’s 45th District and serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Judiciary Committees.