Sunday, August 23, 2009

Druha Trava's U.S. tour threatened by visa delay
DT's instruments and screen image of the Obamas and Czech leaders. Photo from

Next month's U.S. tour of the "Czechgrass" band Druha Trava, the band that played ahead of President Obama's speech in Prague earlier this year, is being threatened by delays in processing their visa requests. The Druha Trava web site reports that if the visas, which were applied for in May, do not come through, the band will have to cancel the 10-state, 18-gig tour, which is due to begin Sept. 4.

DT's U.S. representative Bea Flaming reports, on the web site:
It seems so ridiculous that this band, who performed for an hour at Prague Castle before President Obama's speech there last April, are having such a hard time getting visa approval this year (especially after getting visas every year since 1993, except last year when we canceled the tour before we even filed for visas).

I first FedExed Druha Trava's visa petition on Friday, May 15 this year and I got notification that USCIS received it on Monday, May 18 with Receipt Number: WAC0916351796. According to the USCIS website it should take two months or less to process I-129 petitions for P-1 visas. I have been eagerly awaiting an approval notice since mid July.

On Tuesday, August 18 I received a letter from USCIS detailing more information and documentation that they wanted, including signed contracts for all booked gigs (I have been signing the papers that lawyers have been filing on my/Druha Trava's behalf since 2004 and I've never before had to provide signed contracts for every single gig, just for a representative number of them, but this is the first time I have filed by myself, as DT's beloved friend, Mary Gardner, who for a dozen years gather materials and paid the lawyers on our behalf, died of cancer last year).

Read the entire post from the DT web site

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