Artist visa fees for work in the US to increase in 2024, reaching over $1,000

The costs are lower than first proposed in 2023.

American flag on a flag pole among a blue sky

Image: Marcia Straub / Getty

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Visa costs for musicians and DJs who want to work in the USA are set to rise later this year, with both O and P visas set to jump to over $1,000.

Despite the higher prices, costs are actually lower than expected compared to proposals originally put forward in 2023. The rise in application costs will commence on 1 April 2024.

Back in January of 2023, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to raise touring visa fees for international artists by more than 250 per cent.

This would have meant that applications for a P visa, which is temporary and for artists attending a specific event, would’ve increased from a rate of $460 to $1,615. The longer-term O work visa, which provides artists with a three-year stay, would’ve jumped from $460 to $1,655. Later that July, the decision was delayed following backlash from musicians.

Now, as RA reports, the longer-term O visa will jump from $460 to $1,055, an increase of 129 percent. The P visa will move from $460 to $1,015, a 121 percent jump.  This price hike is the first time artist visa costs have increased since 2016. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) says these higher fees are needed “to cover the cost of doing business and avoid the accumulation of future backlogs.”

A 2022 study from Help Musicians showed that more than eight in ten professional musicians are worried about meeting mortgage or rent costs, nine in ten also say that their career is being impacted by poor mental health amid the cost of living crisis and financial barriers within the industry.

The Chemical Brothers also recently cited rising costs as the reason why they could not play shows in the US. “The costs have gone up so much,” Ed Simons said in September last year. “It’s just not really viable at the moment… I’m apologetic to the people who do want to see us that it is increasingly difficult for us to get to America, because we have had the times of our lives playing there.”

The DHS and the UCIS have opened a comment period until 6 March which allows citizens of the USA to send public feedback. Visit the UCIS website for further information on visa applications. You can also get mental health and career support via Help Musicians.

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