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Musicians may need employment immigration assistance to tour U.S.

Many aspiring British Columbia bands and performers have dreams of making it big in the music business. For some, the path to success may lead them south of the border. In order to cross that border, however, the business of employment immigration will need to be addressed first.

The United States offers many opportunities for a fledgling musician or group to gain exposure. Big city club scenes and massive music festivals are huge draws for emerging talent, but to get there requires the right permits. Working across the border as a performer is not much different from doing any other kind of work, but the visas required are specific to the field. These are category P and O visas.

There have been attempts by performers to enter the United States on a B visa, a temporary visa for business travellers. The case can be made that performers booked to work a specific festival, but who are not seeking actual employment, do not require a performer’s visa. This strategy was actually recommended by the organizers of one major U.S. music festival. This is a risky venture, however, and some have been turned away at the border for attempting entry in this manner.

Becoming a successful musician is not an easy task. It requires long hours, hard work and dedication. For those British Columbia performers seeking to take their career to the next level in the United States, obtaining the right visa is essential. An equally dedicated lawyer focused on employment immigration may be able to assist with this very important task.

Source: Music Week, “Everything you need to know about getting the right SXSW visa“, Andy Corrigan, Nov. 9, 2016