Musicians’ Association of Victoria & the Islands, Local 247 CFM

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Cross the Border

P2 Visa Processing
Obtain a work visa to perform in the United States

Cross The Border

United States Visa Requirements for Canadian Musicians

Canadian musicians who want to perform in the United States can legally enter the U.S. to work by obtaining a P2 Visa in advance. The P2 Visa is intended for artists, entertainers, and athletes, and by far the simplest way for a musician to obtain one is through the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). There is an agreement in place between the AFM and the Department of Homeland Security that allows us to petition on your behalf, streamlining the process enormously.

The P2 is not a temporary green card, it is a work visa valid only for the contracts that are submitted at the time of application. Once the P2 application is submitted, you may be able to add dates within the applied-for time period, but no more dates can be added to it outside of the beginning and end dates. You must then apply for another P2 if you wish to add more performance dates. The maximum length of time given for a P2 can be up to one year, if there are no more than 30 days between contracted dates.

The current fee for applying for a P2 Visa is $460 USD, plus a $120 CAD fee to AFM Canada for administration costs. An additional $25 fee is applied for each additional musician in a group. For example, the administration fee for a (4) piece group will be $195 [$120 + $75 for the 3 additional musicians]. You may also incur Fedex charges for shipping documents to Toronto.

There are additional fees for technical crew and other essential supplemental support [i.e. tour managers, back-up singers/dancers, etc.].

P2 Visas should be applied for at least 75 days in advance (this varies - always contact the office for current turnaround times). If this is impossible, you can apply for “Expedited Processing,” which takes 25 days and costs $1,225 USD, in addition to the $460 mentioned above.

Musicians Now Subject to 30% Tax Withholding
Musicians should be aware that the US Internal Revenue Code Section 1441 requires 30% of projected GROSS income for nonresident alien athletes and entertainers be withheld at the source and deposited for these performers in the U.S. Treasury. Members can avoid over withholding by the US Government bycontacting Here you can get more information about Central Withholding Agreements.

AFM Canada provides an up-to-date package of P2 documents online in pdf format. These documents can be downloaded, printed and completed by the member before bringing them in to our office for final processing of the visa application. If you have any questions please contact us.


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