News: Touring Artists Facing Massive 50% Increase In US Visa Fees From October

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The US visa system is already prohibitive for UK artists and this change will see even more of our globally renowned talent shut out. Not only will the US live circuit suffer with millions of American fans missing the chance to see their favourite British artists, artists will lose the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with creators on the opposite side of the Atlantic.

David Martin
General Manager of the Featured Artists Coalition

In an extraordinary, heartbreaking blow to musicians across the globe, the US Department Of Homeland Security has announced that beginning October 2nd, 2020 – Visa fees for touring artists will increase by over 50%. This short statement in and of itself is devastating; with further context provided below, the intricacies of these new laws get even worse.

Touring artists generally use visas titled P and O, with each specific visa allowing the artists to return to the US for either one to three years. An O visa is issued for “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement”, with the filing fees now set from $460 to $705. Family members or associated individuals travelling with the touring artists generally use a P visa, with the fee now increasing to $695.

The news of these outrageous fee increases ties in directly with the severity of the touring laws set to be put in place post-brexit in 2021. In February, we covered the news regarding the steps artists and bands within the UK are going to be required to take in order to tour the EU, as well as the EU artists who want to tour in the UK. The new laws are absolutely detrimental to the majority of musicians.

The UK law which comes into effect in 2021 states:

  • Each group member will be required to apply for a visa at the cost of £244 each.
  • Prove 90 days in advance that they have a minimum savings of £1,000 in savings (unless they are considered “A-Rated” musicians).
  • Provide a certificate of sponsorship or letter of invitation from event organisers.

This move by the US Department Of Homeland Security as well as the immigration laws set to come into place by the UK Home Office is genuinely horrendous news for all touring artists who are not ultra rich superstars. 

If only one could follow this up with a positive conclusion.

Read more on the official US Federal Register website here.

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