December 15, 2016 last day to Submit P2 Applications under the Current Fee
As reported in late spring, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed an increase to the O and P petition fees. AFM, along with is long-standing coalition of (US-based) non-profit arts organizations, aggressively lobbied against the implementation of any increase. Despite those concerted efforts, late last week USCIS announced a substantial (42%) increase on O’s and P’s, from $325USD to $460USD.
The AFM of course recognizes that this increase adds a significant burden to its Canadian members, musicians world-wide and to petitioners of artist permits such as the AFM.
On November 2nd USCIS is holding a teleconference of its recognized Stakeholders in the US non-profit arts sector. The position and arguments of the AFM and others will be to urge USCIS to respond to its current lack of quality in service, and, to press for vast improvements and consistency in processing times – especially now that USCIS has increased the fee.
To avoid paying the new fee at this time, please submit completed P2 applications to the AFM’s Canadian Office (CFM) ensuring receipt by that office no later than Monday, December 19, 2016. Applications received on or after December 20, 2016 will need to have the new fee ($460) included.
Also, please be reminded that at this time we are recommending 120 days/4 months processing time (unless filing premium processing). The above timeline is an estimate, which is subject to be increased or decreased by USCIS, with no requirement on USCIS to provide petitioners advance notice of changes to processing times. AFM’s P2 Administrative Team monitors USCIS processing progress weekly, in an effort to provide as solid a time line as possible.
While it may be hard to believe, especially considering the processing time and fees, but, for Canadians the USCIS artist visa process is much more simplified and less costly than it is for all other musicians across the globe, who enter the United States under the same permits.
For additional information and questions on the AFM’s lobbying initiatives to improve access to the U.S., or the AFM’s role as a petitioner of artist permits, please email Liana White, Executive Director AFM/CFM, firstname.lastname@example.org