U.S. Government Suspends Price Hikes On Touring Visas For Foreign Artists

The U.S. government will pause its plan to significantly increase the price of touring visas for traveling musicians after announcing that they would raise fees by 250% for foreign artists back in February.

Earlier this month, Consequence of Sound reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made the decision to reassess the visa rate increase due to the negative impact it would have on touring in the United States.

USCIS announced in January that the increase would affect both P and O visas, designated for artists and entertainers for short-term stays in the U.S. 

Currently priced at $460 each, the cost of obtaining the visas would swell to $1,615 and $1,655 respectively after the proposed increases.

Artists worried that the price hike would make touring in the U.S. even more difficult, spurring the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) to compose an open letter to USCIS and encourage fans to oppose the decision.

Florida Congressman Maxwell Frost explained that curbing the price increase is the right move.

“USCIS’s decision to delay their proposed rate hikes and go back to the drawing board is the right move to support our nation’s small business community and for the hundreds of thousands of traveling artists who are a critical part of our local economy,” Frost said.

Stephen Parker, Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), told Consequence of Sound that the visa price increase “poses a severe economic and cultural threat to independent live entertainment in the U.S.”

Parker continued, “While we appreciate the USCIS decision to delay final rulemaking on this issue until March 2024, NIVA will continue working to stop the proposed fee increases.”

Featured image by kstudio on Freepik.

Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University who loves beeps and boops!

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