As of December 23, 2016 the fee for the Form I-129 for O and P classification visa petitions will increase from $325.00 to $460.00. In principle USCIS will begin making an effort to adjudicate Regular Processed petitions in 45-60 days. Since May 2015 they have taken 120-150 days forcing artists to file Premium Processing with an additional fee of $1,225.00 per petition. I am encouraged to report that two recent Regular Processed petitions filed by GAMI/Simonds were adjudicated in 66 and 86 days respectively - the first successful Regular Processed petitions since May 2015.
The cost for a foreign artist to tour here is indeed daunting and increasingly cost prohibitive for some. It is a pity and embarrassment that U.S. audiences are denied the opportunity to see many fantastic artists as a result. There is zero chance the fees will decrease. We can only lobby and push for better service from USCIS and more educated adjudicators who understand the performing arts and its peculiarities. To help artists amortize the cost of a visa it would be helpful if U.S. presenters and promoters were more willing to provide simple letters of intent or interest for future dates, totally non-binding, that would allow the artist to take full advantage of the time period allowed for a particular visa classification.
Please visit our Immigration Services page.