March 10, 2023

The opportunity to respond to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposed rule on visa filing fees has been extended and will now close on Monday, March 13. This proposal would more than triple the cost for O and P artist visas applications filed by U.S. petitioners. Please see our previous news alert and article in Symphony for further details.

The League will be filing joint comments (PDF) in the Federal Register in partnership with numerous national, regional, and state arts stakeholders responding to harmful aspects of the fee proposal. Policy leaders are also speaking up, and the arts community is grateful to Congressional Arts Caucus leader Chellie Pingree (D-ME) for issuing a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services raising the visibility of arts concerns (PDF). In these final days of the comment period, orchestras and members of the public are also strongly encouraged to also respond with their own comments; this is a crucial moment for arts stakeholders to directly speak up to describe the artistic and economic impact of these proposals.

Points to emphasize in your comments might include:

  • USCIS should take immediate action to make the artist visa process more efficient and reliable.
  • Arts stakeholders in all parts of the U.S. engage international artists and do not have the ability to pay these proposed fees.
  • Drastic fee increases will stifle international cultural activity, put U.S.-based jobs at risk, and have a negative economic ripple effect on communities supported by arts events.
  • Delays in processing are already forcing some petitioners to pay the unaffordable Premium fee, or forgo engaging international artists.

Specific examples of the financial impact are very helpful where available, and comments need not be lengthy, but do remember anything submitted through the Federal Register portal will be viewable by the public. In addition to filing comments through the Federal Register portal by Monday, March 13, 2023, we recommend forwarding a copy of your comments to your U.S. Senators and member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Thank you for your advocacy!

Become a member

Thank you for your interest in the League of American Orchestras! We are dedicated to advancing the orchestral experience for all.

Join Now