Overseas travel will now be dearer for the international music performers in the US, with the fee for Form I-129 being hiked by 42 percent from 20 December. It is a mandatory petition for overseas musicians, artists, actors and athletes arriving in the US. This means musicians will now have to pay $460 per individual compared to the earlier $325 as per the hike announced by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
According to consequencesofsound.ne, this hike would have a significantly restrain the overseas musical groups that perform in the US. The larger musical troupes such as Arcade Fire or Radiohead, however, may not be deterred. But the ones such as Alvvays of the world and the Hinds would certainly feel the pinch.
Earlier it was misreported that the hike would be applicable to each individual when the fact is that it will be applicable to the group as a whole, irrespective of its strength. This is also not applicable to the crew members, although a separate fee having the same hike is applicable.
Even the musicians from Canada, who have had relatively smoother processing of applications when compared to other nations, termed the fee hike was not well thought out. The Canadian Federation of Musicians has responded to the hike by saying that the increase in fee adds an extra undesirable monetary burden on its members.
The stakeholders of the nonprofit arts’ sector in the US and the USCIS are planning to meet on 2 November and also present there would be members of the Canadian Federation of Musicians, who would be appealing to the USCIS will insist on betterment and uniformity of the processing period, particularly in the background of the considerable increase in the fees.