Canadian Musicians Petitioning To Rid Expensive US Touring Visa

Putting dents in the wallets of musicians

Canadian Musicians are faced with quite the financial dilemma when it comes to touring south of the border. Being an artist, entertainer or athlete requires a P2 visa to perform in the United States. The P2 visa has become a horror story for Canadian acts as the fees quickly begin to pile on, causing some to question touring the US all together.

Applying for the P2 visa requires $325 USD (~$420 CAD) with an additional $100 CAD fee to AFM Canada for administration costs and another $20 fee applied for each additional musician in a group. Then add a touring manager, merchandise manager and any extra crew members, Canadian artists are looking at close to $900 CAD upfront to enter our neighbours to the south.

Artists should give the whole process 75 – 90 days for their request to process, or opt for the expedited process by adding another $1225 USD (~$1585 CAD) to the already absurd pot.

Add to the fact that the US government takes a hefty 30% cut of Canadian band’s gross revenue as they exit the country it’s rather discouraging for smaller musicians. The US music market is the largest in the world and getting the opportunity to perform in American cities provides an incredible audience reach for many. Canada lifted the extra touring permits for international artists in 2014, it’s time the US did the same.

A petition against the US House of Representatives is currently taking place “to convince the American government to lift the P2 Visa for touring Canadian musicians and make touring the continent easier and not as daunting.”

Sign the petition here.

Image courtesy James Brooks via Flickr