Policy intern Nicole Daley has the lowdown on a move to expedite the visa process Canadian acts need in order to enter the US to tour. Changes are afoot she posits in The Future of Music Coalition.
Canadian musicians have long expressed their frustration with the process of obtaining visas to cross the border and legally tour in the United States. But that may soon change, thanks to the introduction of new bipartisan legislation intended to streamline the process.
The proposed “Bringing Entertainment Artists to the States” (BEATS) Act, would speed up the process of obtaining a P-2 visa for Canadian musicians. Right now ,a touring musician typically must acquire a petition from a United States organization to obtain a visa. The petitioner is usually a venue, presenting organization, booking agent, management company, etc, and the petition includes a list of dates and venues of performances. These petitions are processed in advance by mail, and can involve unexpected delays.
But under the BEATS act, musicians would be able to file an application for admission into the United States with an immigration officer at any Class A port of entry located on the border of the United States and Canada, or at any pre-clearance station at a Canadian airport, right on their way into the US. They’d just need to have the paperwork with the signature of the petitioner and the appropriate supporting documentation ready.
- Further reading HERE