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US to hike foreign artist visa fees by 50%

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US to hike foreign artist visa fees by 50%

By Daniel Seah

Foreign artists wanting to work in the US will have to contend with higher visa application fees and longer processing times beginning 2 October, 2020.

The fee increases will affect petitions for both O and P visas, which are usually applied for by US non-profit arts organisations to bring musicians into the country.

The P visa lasts for one year and is regularly used by touring musicians and stage talent, while the O visa lasts for three years. Both require either a US resident or employer to act as a petitioner.

Filing fees for O visa petitions – which cover “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement” – will steeply increase from $460 to $705, a rise of 53 per cent.

Applying for a P visa – which is also used by the families of entertainers and athletes – will cost 51 per cent more, increasing from $460 to $695.

As well as fee hikes, changes have been made to the number of people covered by a single petition. Each is now capped at 25 individuals, meaning that larger ensembles, such as a 90-piece orchestra will have to apply for four visas to cover its members.

Filing fees for O visa petitions – which cover “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement” – will steeply increase from $460 to $705, a rise of 53 per cent.

Applying for a P visa – which is also used by the families of entertainers and athletes – will cost 51 per cent more, increasing from $460 to $695.

As well as fee hikes, changes have been made to the number of people covered by a single petition. Each is now capped at 25 individuals, meaning that larger ensembles, such as a 90-piece orchestra will have to apply for four visas to cover its members.

Even with that being the case, any increase in visa fees could be painted as being part of a wider isolationist, America-first agenda (see TikTok).

Furthermore, when this change was initially proposed in November 2019, the world was a very different place. In pre-COVID-19 America, international travel was commonplace and the live music industry was booming.

Right now, with travel strictly curtailed, the effects of this change may not be immediately felt. But, when it comes time for the remaining venues to open again post-pandemic, this development could make kickstarting the industry much harder.

Read the entire DHS rule here.

For more industry news, click here.

Read This Original Article Here

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