Canadian Musician - May/June 2023 | Page 45

If you ’ re touring , the easiest way to do this is to speak to your booking agent about providing you with an itinerary of dates , venues ( with addresses ) and with whom you are playing .
5 . A U . S . person or company personnel must provide a letter of support of your itinerary and activities on your behalf . Who does this person have to be ? For example , it could be your U . S . manager or agent , label representative , a co-writer who is a U . S . citizen , a producer who is a U . S . citizen , or the owner of a U . S . recording studio or lock-out you intend to use while you ’ re in the U . S .
5 . You must have a valid passport . To enter the U . S . under a P2 work permit , you must have a valid passport for the duration of your P2 . If your passport is expired , renew it now !
Duration of Visa : Your P2 work permit can be for as long as the activity you are traveling to the U . S . for , up to a maximum of one-year . Your P2 can be extended or renewed thereafter , but it does require repayment of costs .
Costs : In terms of cost , a P-2 is not cheap and if you do not apply ahead , it gets more expensive . For musicians only , the government application fee for regular processing is $ 460.00 USD to get your work permit in around 90 days . For 30 days , you must apply for expedited processing $ 2960 USD ($ 460 + $ 2500 expedited processing fee ).
For musicians PLUS technical personnel or crew , it ’ s $ 920 USD for regular processing , and $ 5920 USD for premium processing .
You and your band members , if any , all must be members of your local musician ’ s guild in Canada for the duration of your P-2 work permit . Last month I was told Toronto ’ s musician ’ s guild membership is several hundred dollars for one person , and it can go up to around $ 400 CND depending on the timing of when you plan to be in the U . S . If you happen to be from a city outside of Toronto , your local musician ’ s guild may be significantly cheaper , so be sure to check !
A / CFM also charges a mandatory fee for processing , which is $ 120 CND for one musician plus $ 25 CND per additional musician / technical crew .
Due to the costs and duration associated with a P-2 , established creatives may want to consider applying for an O-1B visa , which can be issued for up to three years . Long term , your goal may be to eventually become a U . S . permanent resident ( aka “ green card ” holder ), which you can achieve by going from an O-1B to EB-1 . However , please note that the eligibility requirements for an O-1B visa are difficult to meet , read more below !
P-1B Visas ( For Bands or Groups in a rush !) A P-1B visa is a visa for members of an internationally recognized entertainment group that is coming to the United States to perform . If you ’ re a solo musical artist , composer , songwriter , producer , music director , a P-1B visa is not for you . You should instead look at the requirements for an O-1B visa below .
*** A P-1B visa only makes sense if you ’ re in a rush . You can get a P-1B visa approved in 15 calendar days via premium services , if you can ’ t wait the 30 days for a rush P-2 work permit . ***
How Long is an P-1B good for ? An P-1B visa can be issued for the length of time necessary for the particular event or tour , up to one year . A P-1B visa can also be extended . Since the P-1B visa lasts for up to only 1-year , and it ’ s more expensive than a P-2 work permit . I recommend a P-2 work permit if you can wait for the 30 day rush processing time .
How does your band or music group qualify ? To qualify for a P-1B visa your band or music group must be established for at least one year . The majority ( 75 %) of your members must have a relationship with the group or must have been in the group for at least one