United States’ Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a 42% rate hike for foreign artists applying for a visa to work in the U.S., which will come into effect in December.
The Petition for a Non Immigrant Worker, which all musicians from outside the U.S are required to have in order to travel to the States for work has gone up from $325 per act to $460.
The decision hasn’t been popular since being announced earlier this week, with the Canadian Federation Of Musicians calling it an “unacceptable financial burden”.
Jason Garden, talent buyer at Smart Bar in Chicago, provided RA with a statement that said, “As long as I’ve worked at smartbar, the US visa process has been a bit of a thorn in our side.
“While I completely understand the need to document and tax folks who are working in the US, the process itself is often drawn out and expensive to the point that it interferes with the artists and venues the government is trying to serve.
“While the increase in fee is probably nominal for some larger artists, it makes it increasingly difficult for emerging talent to break into the US market.”
(Photo: Kolitha de Silva)
Rob McCallum is DJ Mag’s deputy digital editor. Follow him on Twitter here.