Touring as a musician can be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences… but what fewer people talk about is that it can also be one of the most draining and demanding. Not only can it affect your physical and mental health but it is a financial drain for acts of all shapes and sizes that has only gotten exponentially expensive since the pandemic. NERFA has sought to making touring a better, safer, and easier experience for our community, but our international family is now facing a serious threat to their ability to tour in the States.
The United States Department of Homeland Security wants to RAISE the cost of the visa that international musicians need to perform stateside. And this isn’t a small raise… it’s 251% from $460 to $1615 for the more common O-type visas and 260% from $460 to $1655 for the P-type visas! And that’s in USD when the exchange rate continues to greatly favor Americans.
We at NERFA are requesting an immediate call to action for our US community on behalf of our international brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings who desperately need our help to stop this injustice asking musicians to pay for US immigration programs – essentially reaching into the pockets of artists to help the US government to pay its bills.
What can you do to help?
- Send a formal statement or request to keep OR LOWER visa prices to your federal representatives.
- Phone your federal representatives and express your opposition to the proposed increases. Phone calls are more effective than emails.
- Speak out about these proposed changes at your performances and ask your audiences to take action.
- Include this call to action in your next newsletter.
- Contact your fellow musicians, venues, friends, family—anyone you know!—and share this call to action with them.
We need to continue to support ALL of our community in making touring as rewarding an experience as possible and REMOVE as many barriers to success as possible. With your help and your voice, we can make a difference to do just that for artists throughout the world that need our help.
Thank you in advance,
Justin Nordell (he/him/his)
Justin began at the Philadelphia Folksong Society over a decade ago before taking a job with a recording studio in Texas. Justin became culturally promiscuous upon his return to Philadelphia, working with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Film Festival, FringeArts, etc., with a pit stop as Director of Business Development for a law firm, before returning to PFS as Executive Director in 2015 until 2023.