US members of Congress support LIVE’s call for a rethink on planned increases to visa charges


LIVE is grateful to Harvey Goldsmith for sharing with us a copy of his correspondence with US members of Congress. Nine members of Congress, including the high profile Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, have written to the director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to register their concern at the proposed 250% plus increase in petition fees for the P visa (used for acts to perform temporarily in the US) and the O visa (used for a longer-term working visit), which, they feel “would have a devastating impact on our local creative economies”. The letter concludes, “Many arts entities are concerned that their ability to afford these fees has been significantly overestimated in the proposed rule and are alarmed at the prospect of visa fees more than tripling in size. We urge you to reconsider”.

It is heartening to see direct US political pressure being applied. Particularly as the UK Government has also been engaging on this issue with DCMS Minister, Julia Lopez noting that, “Whilst US immigration policy is ultimately a matter for the US authorities, the UK Government has engaged with the US authorities on this matter to make clear the concerns that the UK music industry has about the proposed increase in US visa costs. We are continuing to engage our counterparts in the US on this matter at official and Ministerial level”.

With the USCIS consultation on these proposals having triggered around 7,000 responses, we must now wait and see if this is enough to cause the department to think again.