Please use this section as a guide only.
The advice we give all artists is to speak directly with a professional visa agent and connect with artists that have successfully toured to the countries you are looking to perform in.
U.S. Consulates internationally continue to experience significant backlogs. Give yourself plenty of time for the application process as it can take weeks or even months to get an interview and the visa issued into a passport.
Take time to look through up to date procedures for your local consulate, and consider premium processing where available.
Update (25/01/22): Our friends at Tamizdat have provided the following information with respect to the newly approved postal application option, in lieu of in-person interviews:
On December 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of State announced an immediate expansion of its policy permitting U.S. consulates to waive in-person interviews for some visa applicants. When granted, the waiver allows qualified visa applicants to apply for their visa by mailing in their passport instead of appearing in person for an interview after the visa petition has been approved by USCIS.
Individuals seeking H-1, H-3, H-4, L, O, P, and Q visas MIGHT be eligible for this interview waiver under the following conditions:
- The individual’s I-129 visa petition has already been approved by USCIS at the time they submit their passport to a consulate;
- The individual…
- has been issued a U.S. visa, in any visa category, at any time in the past, OR
- has traveled to the U.S. at least once before under ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization);
- The individual is applying in their “country of nationality or residence;” AND
- The individual has not been refused a visa in the past (unless such refusal was overcome or waived, and it is assumed that current waiver applicants will not have “apparent ineligibility or potential ineligibility.”)
This announcement is potentially very good news because it gives consular posts new discretion to waive the in-person interview requirement and allow applicants to mail in their documents for visa issuance. However, there is still a lot that we do not know about how this will actually work:
- We don’t yet know how often consulates will choose to allow the mail-in option. Early indications suggest that some may be reluctant.
- We don’t know how long consulates will take to process visas with this mail-in option. Early indications suggest that the processing time at some consulates may be as much as a month.
- We don’t yet know how this will be implemented. So far it does not appear that an applicant can request a waiver of the visa interview; rather applicants must go through the normal procedure of scheduling interviews, and will subsequently be told (either by the online scheduling system or by direct email from the consulate) if the interview requirement has been waived and the applicant is permitted to mail in their passport and documents for visa processing.
Until we know more about how this will work in practice, individuals should assume that they will need an in-person interview; if the interview is waived and the visa is processed in a timely fashion, consider yourself fortunate!
Update (21/9/2021): U.S. consulates and embassies around the world continue to function at reduced capacities. While you may be able to schedule expedited appointments, you should anticipate visa interview delays of as much as three months. It is also very likely that the current 1-2 month processing time may increase significantly as demand for O and P visas increases in coming months. It is also important to remember that the Premium Processing fee for expedited processing was increased from US$1440 to US$2500, which makes it all the more important to file petitions early [via Tamizdat].
These are types of visas you can apply for if you wish to tour the United States:
O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement
For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognised achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.
P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group
To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognised level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual. (Also see the requirements for a P-2 visa if you’re taking crew members on tour.)
For more information on these visas: click here
Attending a showcase conference as an industry professional? These are the types of visas you can apply for.
Business (B-1) Visa
If the purpose of the planned travel is business related, for example, to consult with business associates, attend a scientific, educational, professional or business conference, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business visitor visa (B-1) would be the appropriate type of visa for the travel.
For more information: click here
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables most citizens or nationals of participating countries such as Australia to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel and meet all requirements explained below. If you prefer to have a visa in your passport, you may still apply for a visitor (B) visa.
For more information: click here
Here are some visa agents that we are happy to recommend, based on feedback from Australian artists that have used their services in the past.
EK Immigration Law
Szew Law Group
Traffic Control Group
18 East 41st Street, Suite 1201
New York, NY 10017
+1 212 431 3700