Despite several months of aggressive lobbying against a proposed increase, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have announced a 42% fee increase for artist performance permit fees, an escalation that will see the existing rates increase from $325USD to $460USD. The USCIS action comes in the face of consistent opposition from the American Federation of Musicians, the parent union of the CFM), along with a long-standing coalition of US based non-profit organizations who have been acting in support of professional artists and entertainers since 2022.
“While we recognize that for Canadians the USCIS artist visa process may be more simplified than other musicians seeking to enter the United States under the same permits; however, a fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members,” explained Liana White, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of Musicians.
A meeting with USCIS and its recognized Stakeholders in the US non-profit arts sector will take place on November 2nd. The position and arguments of the AFM/CFM and the arts coalition will urge USCIS to respond to its current lack of quality in service, and to press for vast improvements and consistency in processing times – especially now considering the substantial fee hikes.
In the interim, AFM/CFM is recommending P2 applications made by Canadian performers seeking access to the U.S. be received by their office no later than Monday, December 19, 2022. Applications received on or after December 20, 2022 will be subject to the new fee.
For more information on the CFM’s lobbying initiatives to improve access to the U.S., or the AFM’s role as a petitioner of artist permits, CFM members are invited to contact the head office in Toronto at 1-800-463-6333 or visit our email [email protected]
The Canadian Federation of Musicians is the Canadian National office of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. The CFM provides vital resources to Canadian musicians at all stages of their careers, on any platform, from live concert to recorded performance, broadcast and film scoring. The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is comprised of 200 Local offices across the United States and Canada, collectively representing a membership of approximately 85,000 professional musicians across the United States and Canada. The AFM/CFM has been representing the interests of U.S. and Canadian musicians for 120 years, as the representative of professional musicians in a broad range of collective bargaining and legislative actions. In June 2022, the AFM celebrated its 100th Convention.