US Visa Process Making It Even More Difficult For Foreign Musicians To Tour Here

from the that-can't-be-good dept

A couple of years ago, we noted that US Immigration was making life difficult for touring musicians by changing the way they enforced the visas commonly used by musicians. Specifically, the usual visa required proof of popularity -- but had no systems in place to account for popularity via the internet. This resulted in various well known musicians (including, by the way, our friend Lily Allen) being barred from making expected appearances in the US. It appears this sort of thing is happening again. The law still hasn't changed, but US Immigration has again increased the strictness in how it interprets the existing laws for foreign musicians, leading some top acts to be barred from entering the country -- or just increasing the bureaucracy they need to go through. For many foreign acts, touring the US is quite important in attracting more attention.

The article discusses how this is harming some acts that have built a lot of buzz or won awards... but then have had trouble capitalizing on that with a US tour. It's kind of amusing that just as we hear from politicians talking about the importance of helping musicians with more and more draconian copyright laws, they're making it that much more difficult for them to tour, build their reputation and earn a living. The next time an American politician discusses the need for more draconian copyright laws to help musicians, perhaps a reporter can ask them about this particular issue as well.

Filed Under: immigration, musicians, touring, us, visas


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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 3 Dec 2009 @ 1:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Barring musicians

    Somehow, I don't think that well known, top 10 selling artists on a worldwide tour with dates & tickets fully booked tend to get "lost" all that often... The articles aren't referring to amateurs with a few gigs at small bars, we're talking major established or up-and-coming artists.

    As for American jobs, what about all the backup musicians, support acts, technicians, security and other people who lost their work as a result of the refused entry? Not to mention increased record sales, merchandising, etc. that would have paid American wages & sales taxes. Like it or not, foreign acts can actually be quite important for your economy.

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