Call to action: visa fee increases for international artists
The US Department of Homeland Security has proposed rate increases that would make touring in the United States for international artists significantly more expensive, and straight up impossible for many bands.
They're proposing that O-type visa petitions increase from $460 to $1,655 (a 260% increase). Processing fees for P-type from $460 to $1,615 (a 251% increase). More than a triple increase! + This is on top of a plethora of other fees and expenses required for artists to tour in the US.
With lots of international artists on our roster, this would affect a huge part of our roster in one of the worst ways possible.
Please make some noise about this.
Americans - you can submit a comment to the Department of Homeland Security. The final date to make a comment is March 6. We've made a template that you can use to express your disapproval:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I live in [YOUR CITY & STATE]. I'm commenting to state my disapproval about the Department of Homeland Security's proposal to increase the services fee schedule, including but not limited to immigrant and naturalization benefit request fees, as charged by the US. Citizenship and Immigration Services. I am particularly opposed and urge reconsideration from the DHS of any increase in fees pertaining to the P & O Visas application processes.
This fee increase would act to largely marginalize and worsen the livelihoods of international artists. These are artists engaged throughout the arts and entertainment industry, which are still itself recovering from the effects of COVID-19. Most of these entities do not, in fact, have the ability to pay these proposed fees, nor do the foreign artists engaged. Drastic fee increases will stifle international cultural activity, put U.S.-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 already unaffordable premium processing fee or forgo engaging international artists.
I urge Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Carol Caribbs, Deputiy Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and their respective agencies to consider and halt these oppressive proposed fee changes.