The US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing VAST increases to fees for P and O performing visas. Not only will this directly hurt our Canadian members and make it more challenging to tour in the US, it will have a severe negative impact on our entire music eco-system since the North American folk scene thrives on cross-border pollination. International artists from across the globe will be equally impacted. A summary of the proposed changes is available here.
Help stop this proposed change by taking action now.
- Comment on the proposed changes in the federal register: http://tinyurl.com/visafeecomments (comments submitted through the portal are public.)
- Send a copy of your comment to your federal representatives. Find your US Senators and House Representatives here.
- Better yet, phone your federal representatives and express your opposition to the proposed increases. Phone calls are more effective than emails. Find your US Senators and House Representatives here.
- Speak out about these proposed changes at your performances and ask your audiences to take action.
- Include this call to action in your next newsletter.
- Contact your fellow musicians, venues, friends, family—anyone you know!—and share this call to action with them.
Canadian Citizens and International Friends:
- Canadians and citizens of other countries have no say over US government policy. However, your US friends and family do!!
- Contact your fellow US musicians, venues, friends, family – anyone you know!—and share this call to action with them.
Some points to consider for your comments:
- It is more effective to provide specific examples of the financial impact these new fees will have on you or your organization, such as cancelling performances, losing the ability to engage international guest artists, missed opportunities for cross border collaborations that could help your career, etc.
- The arts sector is still recovering from the effects of COVID-19. Most venues can’t afford these proposed fees, nor can most independent touring musicians.
- Drastic fee increases will stifle international cultural activity, put US-based jobs at risk, and have a negative economic ripple effect on communities supported by arts events.
- Delays in processing are already forcing some organizations and artists to pay the extremely high Premium Processing Fee or forgo engaging international artists.
If we speak out strongly and in big enough numbers, we can prevent these fees from taking effect.
Please take action now!