US Department Of Homeland Security Looks To Triple Visa Cost, Making Touring More Expensive Than It Already Is

The fate of international artists wanting to tour in the US may be hanging in the balance, as a series of proposed rule changes issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last January would increase the prices of visas needed to enter and work in the States by nearly triple the current price.

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More specifically, the two common types of visas acquired by touring artists are the “O” visa for longer-term work, and the “P” visa is for temporary work stays. If the DHS gets its way approved, the price hikes would go from $460 to $1,655 (O) and $460 to $1,615 (P), respectively.

The DHS says the price hikes are necessary as a result of more demand for visas, staffing shortages within the department, and more funds being needed to assist asylum seekers. (Of course, it is important to remember that it’s not only bands who seek out visas.)

Now, it’s possible this may be just a byproduct of what we saw happening to bands from the United States who were looking to tour Europe last year—only in reverse. And the potential price hike is only the beginning of the issues! Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares recently detailed just how expensive touring has become and why anyone without any touring experience can appreciate the costs involved, while Devin Townsend has straight up said he loves touring as a solo acoustic act because it’s the only way he can afford it. And don’t even get Lord Ahriman started on the whole merch cuts thing.

Regardless of the DHS’ reasoning, this would absolutely give any band from anywhere on this planet (the proposal includes Mexico and Canada too!) pause before touring the US. But if there is a silver lining, though, it’s the DHS budget needs to be approved by Congress, and as we’ve seen in the past, they don’t really do much of anything these days.

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