Visa fees for foreign artists touring the US to increase by over 50%

The new fees will take effect from October

Visa fees for foreign artists touring the US will increase by over 50% before the end of 2020, the US Department Of Homeland Security has announced.

The fee increases, which were first proposed last November, will affect both the P and O visa types, which are generally used by touring artists. The visas allow artists to return to the country within one and three years respectively.

Filing fees for an O visa, which applies to “Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement,” will increase from $460 to $705, a rise of 53%. The P visa, which can also be used by family members of the individuals, will increase by to a total cost of $695.

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Visa application waiting times are set to increase to 15 business days, but a fast track service that costs over $1000 will be available for those needing their application to be dealt with more quickly.

The new fees will take effect on October 2. For more information, visit the Federal Register website.

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The fee increase will affect both the P and O visa types. CREDIT: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Commenting on the increased fees, David Martin, general manager of the Featured Artists Coalition, said: “It is incredibly disappointing to hear the latest news of increased fees and more bureaucracy for foreign artists travelling to the US.

“The US visa system is already prohibitive for UK artists and this change will see even more of our globally renowned talent shut out. Not only will the US live circuit suffer with millions of American fans missing the chance to see their favourite British artists, artists will lose the opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with creators on the opposite side of the Atlantic.”

He concluded: “At a time when we should be celebrating and building on our shared history of cultural exchange, this development instead moves us further apart. There are no winners.”

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Earlier this year, Tom Watson, the chair of UK Music, called for the UK government to back a plan for a Musicians’ Passport, allowing bands and artists to tour freely and without visas after Brexit.

As part of ongoing Brexit negotiations, the Home Office previously revealed that musicians from outside the UK will need to apply for a visa and pay to perform in the country from 2021, with EU and non-EU based creatives who wish to travel to the UK needing to prove they have nearly £1000 in savings in their account some 90 days before applying for the visa.

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