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HITS LIST: HORSEPOWER
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Blighty Beat
U.S. VISA HIKE "CATASTROPHIC"
3/1/23

British musicians are facing a price hike of 251% for U.S. visas, with 70% of acts saying they’ll no longer be able to tour stateside, according to a study.

Proposals mean that petition fees for the P visa, which is used for acts to perform temporarily in the U.S., will increase to $1,615 (£1,352) from $460 (£385). The O visa, used for a longer-term working visit, would climb by 260% to $1,655 (£1,375) from $460 (£385).

In a survey by UK Music, the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), 70% of members said the increased visa charges would mean they would no longer be able to tour the USA.

According to the Musicians' Union, 96% of members surveyed said that increased fees will impact the feasibility of future touring, while 26% said they will lose money on tours as a result.

UK Music has written to Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, urging her to persuade her American counterparts to drop the “deeply damaging” hike.

In the letter, signed by organizations from across the British music industry, UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin wrote, “These deeply damaging proposals would be catastrophic, both for U.K. artists and for their American audiences who have a huge appetite for British music. These plans must be scrapped.

“The U.K. and U.S. have enjoyed decades of mutually beneficial musical exchange that have strengthened our special relationship and brought huge social, cultural and economic benefits. We should be making it easier for musicians to tour the States, not harder.

“We call on ministers to urgently raise this issue with their U.S. counterparts and work with them to avoid an outcome that would be mutually detrimental to both our countries.”