For years since we started this website we have been campaigning about the issue of the costs of visas for UK artists to tour the USA.
Prohibatively expensive and really hard to get with constant delays seeing visas arrive too late for bands to even do the tour they were trying to do.
I started a campaign. No music organisation at the time was interested until Kerry McCarthy MP got involved and we went to Parliament. Then they all joined us. We met the politicians. We went to the American embassy. It made no difference and the cost inched up. We even met resistance from people in the UK who said there was no problem! Then the campaign was take over by the music organisations and we were removed from the campaign and then nothing happened.
In the mean post Brexit world our special relations hip is being tested to the max. Anyone whop thought the USA was going to be an ally to the UK needs to think again. Whilst American bands pay hardly any money to tour the UK the British bands are now expected to pay even more to go to the USA with the astonishing news’s that visas for foreign artists travelling to play in the US will increase by over 50% before the end of the year.
The changes, which will lead to higher application fees and longer processing times, 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. These changes will come into effect from October 2, with visa application waiting times set to increase to 15 business days. (A fast track service that costs over $1000 will be available to those wishing to have their application dealt with more quickly.)