It’s tough times for most touring artists at the moment, who are unable to take their show on the road internationally – or, largely speaking, even domestically – due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With one of the primary sources of income for performers abruptly taken away, they’ve now got even more bad news to look forward to when and if they’re ever able to get back to it.
According to Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States Government, the US Department of Homeland Security will significantly increase the cost of visa fees for international artists hoping to tour the States from October 2. The changes were first proposed back in November 2019, and the visas impacted are the P and O types, which are both regularly used by overseas touring artists.
Filing fees for an O visa will increase to $705 (USD), up over 50% from the previous fee of $460. Filing fees for P visas are now at $695USD. The waiting period after filing will also go up by another 15 business days, with the option to pay $1000 for priority processing.
It’s a signifiant blow to emerging artists here in Australia and other non-US countries, who may struggle to justify the additional costs of visas, particularly for a full band and tour crew. It will likely be tougher for young Aussie artists to travel to the US in order to perform at showcases such as SXSW, let alone their own tours. You can read more about the changes here.