International musicians meet increased difficulties obtaining U.S. visas

Posted on: August 3, 2018

Visiting musical artists are encountering “thorny travel complications in recent months, as festivals and venues around the Capital Region have coped with a variety of documentation headaches” concerning U.S. work visas, reports Amy Biancolli in the July 23 Times Union (Albany, NY). In addition to difficulties experienced by a variety of music ensembles, “Last season, the pianist Ilya Rashkovskiy—Russian born, but living in France—couldn’t acquire a visa in time to play with the Albany Symphony. ‘I think it’s partly because he filled out the “wrong” form,’ said music director David Alan Miller in an email. ‘But, we haven’t had that happen before. Getting artists in from abroad has become much more difficult in the last few years, and it now seems to be getting even harder.’ ‘The process has always had its challenges, and they do change based on the big picture in immigration,’ said Heather Noonan, vice president for advocacy with the League of American Orchestras.… In the last few years, Noonan said, [the process] has been yielding more delays when security screenings ‘take longer, or become more complicated…. The most important tip in navigating this process is to start it as soon as possible.’ ” Click here for visas and travel resources from the League of American Orchestras.

Posted August 3, 2018