The Musician's Union's visa taskforce is consulting with key industry bodies to push against "prohibitive cost increases and unfair practice" in relation to US visas. All visa filing fees administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are being increased, but there are also specific plans to limit the number of artists that can be included on a single work authorisation petition to 25. The MU is concerned that large ensembles, including orchestras and theatre companies, will be required to file multiple petitions to cover all their artists.
Dave Webster, Chair of the taskforce said: "As if it isn’t already hard enough for artists to perform in the US, this increase in fees just adds to that. Musicians are faced with great uncertainty right now, so it is important they have all the right information to hand. Some musicians will feel this increase more deeply than others, and it’s certainly a further blow to cultural exchange. However, this increase is only a part of the problem, especially in light of the overall costs and administration placed upon artists when obtaining a visa."