“The League of American Orchestras and OPERA America have informed their memberships and supporters of the latest plans by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would severely curtail foreign artists from coming to the U.S.,” writes Susan Elliott in Tuesday’s (12/17) Musical America (subscription required). “Specifically, DHS has proposed a huge raise in visa fees including … artist visas applications filed by orchestras and other arts presenters. No date has been set as yet, and DHS is inviting public comments…. The deadline for comments is December 30…. Among the proposed changes, as per the League’s information: Filing fees for regularly-processed O visa petitions would increase from $460 to as much as $715 per petition. Filing fees for regularly-processed P visa petitions would increase from $460 to as much as $705 per petition. The total number of individuals on a single petition would be capped at 25…. For example, an orchestra comprising 110 musicians plus a handful of accompanying support staff would require 6 visa petitions rather than 2. The Premium Processing Service, an additional cost of $1,440, would take longer if USCIS were to be allowed 15 federal working days to complete processing, compared to the current 15 calendar day timeline.”
Information about visa changes can be found at the League of American Orchestras website.