Musicians touring the US will soon have to pay 42 percent more in visa fees
By the end of 2016, performing in the US will become much more difficult for budding artists, entertainers and athletes. US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced a 42 percent increase in performance permit fees – up from $325 to a whopping $460 – effective December 20.
Artists hailing from Canada, however, will not be required to be pre-cleared through a consulate and pay additional fees unlike performers from other countries. Despite a more simplified application process for Canadians, many have raised opposition against the unexplainably high fees for musicians seeking to enter the country.
Liana White, executive director at Canadian Federation of Musicians, told Billboard, “While we recognize that for Canadians the USCIS artist visa process may be more simplified than other musicians seeking to enter the United States under the same permits, however, a fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members.”
A meeting with USCIS and members of the U.S. nonprofit arts sector will convene on November 2 to further discuss the increase. For the time being, it is recommened that artists looking to perform in the US apply by December 19, as applications received on or after December 20 must pay the new fee.