The major delays for processing P2 Visas continue, and we have recently learned that processing times are even longer now than they were the last time we updated you. We are monitoring the situation and we have been in close contact with the Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) office. They are about to send out an official notice advising that applications need to be in the office at least 75 calendar days in advance of the first contracted gig. We will forward that notice as soon as it comes to us.
We are getting in touch immediately in order to make sure you have timely information and are prepared as best as possible. While the official word from the CFM is a 75 day lead time, our recommendation is for you to apply 90 calendar days in advance of your first gig if at all possible. We realize this is challenging, but given how quickly processing times have increased, it is impossible to predict what will happen over the next few months, and it is far better to be too early than to be caught in an even longer processing delay.
We know that there are a number of you with P2 Visas applications in process. The CFM office is working overtime and has hired extra staff to help with the huge number of calls and emails they are fielding right now. They are doing the best they can to keep on top of the situation, but they are completely in the hands of the US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS), and they are limited in what they can do.
Note that under normal conditions, Visa applicants can try to get a “congressional expedite” to speed up processing of a P2 Visa that has not come through. However, at the moment the Vermont Processing Center is advising congressional/senate aides that the only option to help speed up approvals is to pay an extra US$1225 for premium processing.
Please DO NOT attempt to contact the USCIS about your case — the only person USCIS agents are authorized to speak to about your case is the petitioner (the staff person at the CFM who has prepared and signed your application) and any other communication could flag your case as potentially fraudulent and could jeopardize your approval.
CFM is working on a policy level to try to reduce processing times — when we have more information about those efforts we will certainly let you know.
Needless to say, we are not happy with this situation, and at Local 1000 we are committed to working as best as we can to assist our members who have P2 applications in process. If you have an application in and you have questions or concerns, please get in touch with Canadian Vice President Eve Goldberg at [email protected] Again, we are limited in what we can do but we are available to advise and we can sometimes clarify questions or point to helpful resources.