USA. JM | Feb 27, 2023

US proposes hike in visa fees for foreign artistes

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes
U.S. Department of Homeland Security emblem is pictured at the National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) located just outside Washington in Arlington, Virginia September 24, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang)

The United States has announced plans to raise visa fees for foreign musicians by more than 250 per cent.

Foreign artistes who plan to have a music tour or visit the country for an extended period of time have to acquire a P visa for short term stays, or an O visa for longer-term work.

A proposal from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), made earlier this month, indicated that there are plans to increase the fees from the current rate of US$460 (J$70,920) to US$1,615 (J$248,994) for short-term performance visits. For long-term visits, the price is expected to increase from US$460 (JM$70,920) to US$1,655 (JM$254,669).

Additionally, a US$600 surcharge will be required to fund the US government’s asylum programme and visa applications are proposed to be limited to a maximum of 25 individuals. If the musician’s team exceeds that number, a separate application is required.

Increased fees due to demand

According to the DHS the proposed hike in fees are due to high demand and insufficient staff at the Citizenship and Immigration department. As such, there will be a longer timeframe for premium processing. The proposed changes state that the timeframe is expected to increase from 15 calendar days to 15 business days.

The news has resulted in many foreign musicians petitioning the US government to not move forward with the proposed increase in fees. Music fans and industry workers have until March 6 to oppose the move on the Federal Register website.

The last time artiste visa fees were raised was in 2016. A proposal was made for a 50 per cent increase in 2020, but that attempt was unsuccessful.

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