Important P2 Visa Updates~ Processing Procedures & Fees!

Dear Locals,

  1. In an effort to streamline and provide greater transparency on the processing of Member’s P2’s, last year the data tracking system was upgraded and now generates automatic alerts and updates to Members on the status of their files. This system has enabled the staff to better track data and increases their communications to the members, who are often concerned about receipt of their package and processing of their visa.

The main contact on the P2/P2S Application (as listed bottom of page 1 of the application) will receive emails:

i.) When the application is first received at our office.

ii) When the petition form has been couriered to USCIS.

iii.) When the USCIS Receipt Notice has been issued. The email will include the Receipt Number and link to USCIS website, so members may monitor the processing status directly if they would like. The staff will of course continue the regular process of monitoring the status of all files as well.

iv.) When the P2 Approval Document (Notice of Action I-797) has been received in our office from USCIS. A scanned copy will be attached to this communication, and the recipient mailing address and method of delivery (courier, post, or in-person pick-up) will be confirmed.

This means the main contact receives 4 emails for every P2 and/or P2S Application, notifying of the step-by-step processing. The emails are sent from the general P2 department email, immigration@afm.org. This is a useful email address to direct any P2 questions, as both of the primary (Ari Vangeest and Melanie Hall), as well as back-up P2 Administrators, will receive these communications.

We hope these changes have provided the members with a greater understanding of the process, and that these regular updates have eased their approval-waiting period. Special thanks to the wonderful AFM-tech team of Michael Ramos and Gary Goode for the design and infrastructure, and to Susan Whitfield and Ari Vangeest for the thoughtful integration.

  1. AFM Administrative Fee increases January 1, 2024 (we will allow 1-month grace time for any who have already sent in petitions and/or have already budgeted based upon previous fees before receiving this update):

Standard Processing: from $120 for the first musician/technician to $125 for the first person.  The fee of $25 for each additional person does not increase.

Premium Processing: from $120 for the first musician/technician to $150 for the first person.  The fee of $25 for each additional person does not increase; and $25 to push up a submitted P2/S petition(s) from Standard to Premium processing $25 (new fee).

Replacement, B1 and Cultural Exchange Support Letters: from $45 to $50.

This information was posted to the CFM site prior to the Holiday Closure: EN: Work Permits :: Canadian Federation of Musicians (afm.org)  FR: Permis de travail :: Canadian Federation of Musicians (afm.org)

  1. Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) Premium Processing Fee Increase February 26, 2024:  The Premium Processing fee will increase from $2,500 to $2,805.  The last day for receipt in the Canadian Office under the current $2500 fee will be February 16, 2024. This increase falls under the USCIS Stabilization Act allowing an adjustment to the premium fees on a biennial basis. After leaving these fees unchanged for the 3 years following passage of the Act, DHS is now increasing the premium processing fees to reflect the amount of inflation from June 2021 through June 2023 according to the (US) Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

There has been no further update as yet on last years proposed increase to standard processing, other than we may expect an update by March 2024.

  1. Some banks across the country, most notably RBC, have stopped issuing USD Money Orders. When members encounter this issue:

i)                    They may consider asking a close personal contact to inquire with their bank on the possibility of obtaining USD money orders;

ii)                   If they, or their close personal contact, do not already have such an account they may open a United States-based bank account, from which a money order can be obtained;

iii)                 If they, or their close personal contact, hold or have access to a credit card issued by a United States Bank, they may pay via the USCIS credit card form at the following link: https://www.uscis.gov/g-1450;

iv)                 Obtain a United States Postal Service money order.

If none of the above is possible, please contact immigration@afm.org or (416) 391-5161

  1. Current P2 processing timelines and submission recommendations:

Standard Processing: Majority of files are processing within 60 days after receipt in the Canadian Office (this information should not be confused with receipt of the Local office). We recommend Members to submit their application 90 days prior to the day they will need to enter the US.

Premium Processing: We recommend Members to submit their applications, for receipt in the Canadian Office, 30 days prior to the day they will need to enter the US.  USCIS will take up to 15 calendar days to process from the date of receipt in their office.

  1. In November we Welcomed Melanie Hall as Bilingual Artist Immigration Administrator/Agente billingue à l’immigration des artistes, to the P2 Administrative team. With the addition of Melanie, the P2 services are once again fully bilingual.  Melanie can be reached at ext 222 mhall@afm.org .
  1. As we always keep the CFM website up to date, it is highly recommended that any P2-related information on Local websites simply be directed to: EN: Work Permits :: Canadian Federation of Musicians (afm.org)  or FR: Permis de travail :: Canadian Federation of Musicians (afm.org) .  The P2 Information document is in the process of being amended in both languages, to reflect the information above.  The documents should be posted early next week, after the office reopens from the New Years Holiday closing.  The applicable document links in the PREZI are also in process.