Oh, Great. It Just Got More Expensive for Canadian Bands to Tour the US.

It’s not exactly Donald Trump’s Mexican wall, but the barrier making it difficult for Canadian bands to tour in the US just got a little bit higher.

Every Canadian act that’s sucked it up and crossed the border knows how hard it is. An essential task is to secure a temporary work visa known as a “P2,” something that has to be acquired in advance and costs $325 USD. Come December 20, that fee will rise to $460 USD, which is a bump of 42%–more if the loonie continues its downward spiral.

And it’s not just Canadian musicians. This fee levied by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services It also applies to all entertainers and athletes, too. And it’s not just Canadians, either. The P2 visa is required by any artist, entertainer and athlete from anywhere on the planet.

While no reason is given for the big bump (maybe they’re fed up with us sending them acts like Justin Bieber), it’s still causing some angst among Canadian organizations. Liana White is the executive director of the Canadian Federation of Musicians had this to say to Billboard: “While we recognize that for Canadians the USCIS artist visa process may be more simplified than other musicians seeking to enter the United States under the same permits, however, a fee surge of this kind adds an additional and unacceptable financial burden on our members.”

There’s a meeting today between the CFM and the American Federation of Musicians to see what can be done. Meanwhile, if you’re a band planning to tour the US anytime soon, get those P2 applications in before December 19. And while you’re at it, sign the petition to scrap the thing altogether.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Oh, Great. It Just Got More Expensive for Canadian Bands to Tour the US.

  • November 1, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Don’t forget that they’ve also increased the expected processing time to 110 days. Part of the application is including upcoming contracts.

    How many young artists have contracts more than 4 months in advance? Not many


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