The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Agrees To Delay Visa Rate Hikes

WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has agreed to delay the implantation of visa rate hikes that would have substantially increased the financial costs for international artists to tour in the U.S.

The  proposed rate hikes would have seen the rate for regularly processed O-type visa petitions increase from $460 to $1,655 (including an Asylum Program Fee), an increase of 260%. P-type visas, including P-1B petitions would rise by 251% from $460 to $1,615 per petition, also inclusive of a surcharge for the Asylum Program.

However, a group of Democratic congressmen, led by Florida’s Maxwell Alejandro Frost, successfully petitioned the USCIS to delay implantation of the proposed rate changes, noting that the rate hike that would have disproportionately adverse effects on new and emerging traveling artists including touring musicians.

“USCIS’s decision to delay their proposed rate hikes and go back to the drawing board is the right move to support our nation’s small business community and for the hundreds of thousands of traveling artists who are a critical part of our local economy,” said Rep. Maxwell Frost. “I will continue to work with the Administration to fight for the emerging and traveling artists, independent venues, and small businesses that are an integral part of the fabric of Central Florida.”

“The USCIS proposal to drastically increase visa fees for international performers poses a severe economic and cultural threat to independent live entertainment in the U.S. It undermines the vital role these performers play on our stages,” said Stephen Parker, Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). “A 2023 survey of independent venues, festivals, and promoters revealed that international talent accounts for over a quarter of performances at an average venue and can even make up 100 percent of performances for Latin music promoters. While we appreciate the USCIS decision to delay final rulemaking on this issue until March 2024, NIVA will continue working to stop the proposed fee increases. We applaud Congressman Frost for his dedication to preserving the accessibility and affordability of artist visas.”

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