According to pitchfork.com musicians in the United States and around the world have spent the last couple of weeks encouraging their fans to go against proposed increases in visa costs and now each musician is pushing for a final rally of support.
Visa costs for international artists could triple under a new policy which creates a potentially prohibitive barrier to working musicians. Yesterday was the last day for the public to speak on the matter. For more information click here.
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have proposed the visa changes back in January where the argued the new rates were necessary due to the increased costs at the agency.
Under the new guidelines, the O-1 visas for “individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement” would increase from $460 to $1,655. The P-2 visas for individual or group performers would have a similar increase from $460 to $1,615.
The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers led a letter-writing campaign which responds to the proposed increase where The organization is aiming for 1,600 letters speaking out against the new policy.
Artists like The Weather Station, Ducks Ltd., and Primal Scream’s Simone Marie Butler have spoken out against the higher fees.
In the United Kingdom, Let the Music Move has encouraged British musicians—who have been in deeper European visa complications as a result of Brexit—to take action as well.