Rising Costs to Tour the United States


Anthony Pawelski, writing at AILA:

International artists face another barrier: a U.S. work visa. The O or P visa are commonly used for musicians. They are each limited to specific purposes and not a substitute for a green card. An artist may even have multiple O visas depending on their overall activities in the United States. Both O and P visas can be labor intensive depending on the musical genre, profile of band/artist, nature of the arrangement, and timeline. Like any U.S. visa, there are associated filing fees and attorney fees but, unlike the H-1B work visa, the O or P do not mandate the sponsor/employer pay all legal or government filing fees.

And now, touring is getting even more expensive. On April 1, 2024, the new fee schedule from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will take effect. Applications for most work visas and employment-based green cards will now have higher filing fees and require a new mandatory asylum fee ranging from $300 to $600 (non-profits are exempt). This new fee will be used to fund part of the costs of administering our nation’s asylum program and will be paid each and every time an O or P visa is filed (side note that it is possible that the final fee rule will be challenged in court and all or part of the new fee rule may be enjoined).