US visa fees hiked 42% for touring artists
US visa fees for foreign musicians are set to increase 42% on 23 December.
The new US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee schedule, published in the Federal Register on 24 October, reveals the fee for submitting form I-129 for “nonimmigrant workers” – which includes artists and entertainers – is set to increase from $325 to $460.
USCIS director León Rodríguez says: “This is our first fee increase since November 2010 […] We are mindful of the effect fee increases have on many of the customers we serve. That’s why we decided against raising fees as recommended after the fiscal year 2012 and 2014 fee reviews.
“A fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members”
“However, as an agency dependent upon users’ fees to operate, these changes are now necessary to ensure we can continue to serve our customers effectively.”
Both the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) oppose the increase. “While we recognise 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, a fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members,” says CFM executive director Liana White.
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