Scrap the "P2 Visa" for Canadian musicians trying to tour the United States.
This petition had 11,716 supporters
Touring is an important element of a professional musician's career. As more independent Canadian artists emerge onto the global music scene, the desire to tour the United States grows. However, this has become increasingly difficult and expensive. In order for Canadian artists to tour the United States, they must apply for and be granted a "P2 Visa” by the US government.
For many, going through the process is enough to just give up on the idea of performing in America. As outlined on the American Federation of Musicians’ website: (http://www.afm247.com/p2.html "The current fee for applying for a P2 Visa is $325 USD, plus a $100 CAD fee to AFM Canada for administration costs. An additional $20 fee is applied for each additional musician in a group. For example, the administration fee for a (4) piece group will be $160 [$100 + $60 for the 3 additional musicians]...The above also applies to applications for technical crew and other essential supplemental support [i.e. tour managers, back-up singers/dancers, etc.]. One crew person will be an additional $100 (over and above the musician administration fee); two crew would be $120.00."
In short notice cases, common in the music business, bands are forced to pay an additional $1,225 USD just to get their applications expedited, without any guarantee that the visas will be granted on time. Add to all this the 30% tax the IRS withholds from the gross income of the Canadian group, and touring quickly becomes a financial impossibility for many struggling artists.
With these prohibitive costs in place over the last decade, many Canadian musicians find they are increasingly unable to tour in America. Up until June 25th, 2014, American musicians planning to tour Canada had similar challenges. In response to a petition much like this one, the Canadian government has since done away with prohibitive international musician fees. (http://globalnews.ca/news/1416999/canada-has-done-away-with-international-musician-fee/ With free trade agreements like N.A.F.T.A. in place, there is no need to maintain this barrier against Canadian artists.
When they enter the United States to perform, Canadians are doing the following:
- Stimulating cash-flow in American music markets.
- Enabling emerging American artists with opportunities to promote themselves at the same events.
- Supporting American businesses by buying necessary products and services while touring.
- Paying American income taxes.
- Building relationships between the music communities and industries in both countries.
This Visa is a major obstacle for touring Canadian artists looking to share their talents in America. It limits markets in both countries and also discourages cultural exchange. With this petition, we implore the American government to do away with the high costs currently required for the P2.
Today: Omar is counting on you
Omar Khatib needs your help with “Scrap the "P2 Visa" for Canadian musicians trying to tour the United States.”. Join Omar and 11,715 supporters today.