The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) is recognized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as an authorized petitioner for temporary work permits on behalf of AFM member musicians. Therefore, Canadian members who wish to perform (work) in the United States may apply for non-immigrant work permits through AFM. The AFM provides the exact same level of service as immigration lawyers or visa service agents.
The AFM provides immigration consulting services to members and non-members alike. However, petitioning for P2 Work Permits is a member-specific service, processed by AFM’s Canadian Office on behalf of Canadian AFM members exclusively.
The P2 Work Permit
For most musical work in the United States, musicians require a Classification P2 Work Permit, or other non-immigrant permit (detailed below). Also see—B1 Business class Visitor Visa.
Processing Times and Fees
Regular Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM *at least 60 calendar days prior to first performance. *US Immigration reports a processing backlog for Regular Processing
Premium Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM at least 30 days prior to first performance. To apply for Premium Processing, you need to provide 2 separate money orders payable to "Department of Homeland Security" for $460 USD and $1,410 USD. **FEE INCREASE ALERT: USCIS announced they are increasing their premium processing fees from $1,410 USD to $1,440 USD. Therefore petitions received on or after November 27 must provide 2 money orders for $460 USD and $1,440 USD.
NOTE: When you submit a P2 application; you do so at your own risk. AFM does not have control over the decisions U.S. Immigration makes on their processing times. Therefore, USCIS processing times may increase/decrease at any time, without notice. The AFM’s suggested processing timelines are based on an internal weekly, observance of the average turnaround time from submission of application to receipt of approval. You can contact our office to confirm they haven't drastically changed.
For specific information on what you will require and to download the application package, please see the links below:
If you are not yet an AFM member, or if you just joined AFM specifically to obtain a P2, please contact: Cathy Lee—firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 231.
If you are an existing AFM member, please contact the P2 Department:
Jill Léger—email@example.com, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 222 or Kaitlyn Vleming—firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 234.
If you would like to visit the AFM's Toronto office to have your P2 package reviewed with an Artist Immigration Administrator, please make an appointment with Jill or Kaitlyn in advance. Otherwise, you are welcome to drop it off at the reception desk during office hours, or send your P2 application package by courier, or Xpresspost, or mail. We do not accept applications by email or fax.
As of May 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will no longer issue paper I-94 Departure Records at air and sea ports of entry. Instead, the traveler's passport will be stamped with their Date of Entry, their visa classification and their Date of Exit (the date by which they must depart the United States). The I-94 information can then be accessed through an online portal and printed out.
Paper I-94 departure records will still be issued at land ports of entry.
Read more about this procedure here: I-94 Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Foreign Entertainers with Previous Criminal Activity Entry/Performance in Canada
If it has been less than five years since a charge or conviction, persons will be deemed “criminally inadmissible” to Canada and a Temporary Resident Permit is required instead of filing for a work permit (LMO).
If the person has been:
Charged but not convicted: Temporary Resident Permit is NOT required.
Charged & Awaiting Trial - or - Warrant for Arrest: Temporary Resident Permit is required, but may not be granted until AFTER the conclusion of the trial.
On Parole: Five years after the completion of the parole period, the person may apply for Rehabilitation (explained further below).
If the offence committed was DUI in most situations, especially when a minimum of five years has not elapsed, persons are not deemed admissible, meaning a Temporary Resident Permit is required. To be certain, especially when there has been more than one DUI charge or if the accident was very serious (i.e. causing severe injury/death) a Canadian Consulate should be contacted as early as possible to ensure the Temporary Resident Permit is not necessary.
Crossing the Border with Musical Instruments and Gear
Musicians crossing the border with instruments and gear are encouraged to apply for an ATA Carnet, a document which enables professionals to bring the tools of their trade across borders easily and without hassle, duties or border fees. Learn more about ATA Carnets from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Canadian Chamber of Commerce - About the ATA Carnet or Information on US Customs and Border Protection.
In the absence of a Carnet, please prepare a manifest (list) of all instruments and gear, including serial numbers and make/model of instruments. If your instrument was purchased outside of Canada, bring the original bill of sale or include the following information on the manifest: the city, state/province, and country where the instrument was purchased. ________________________________________________________________________________
Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
The CFM offers Emergency Medical Travel Insurance at preferred rates through our Discount Savings Program exclusive to members and their familes. $138.99 gets you world-wide coverage for a year, applicable to as many trips as you like (as long as each trip is 60 days or less). Please contact Cathy Lee, Membership Services Coordinator for more information: email@example.com, 416-391-5161 ext. 231 (1-800-463-6333).
B1 Business Class Visitor Visa
Canadians who are invited to the United States for certain services may not require a P2 visa/work permit and may qualify for a Business Class Visitor Visa instead (B-1 Visa).
For assistance in this determining B1 visa eligibility please contact:
Lily Kemeredin—firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 221 Fax: 416-391 5165
You are welcome to submit the B1 package by email to email@example.com at least 5 business days prior to entry date.
Musicians from Canada and abroad requiring union consultation for P1, P3 and, O1 permits must contact the AFM’s New York Office: George Fiddler–firstname.lastname@example.org,1 800 762 3444 ext. 231.
Performing in Canada for Musicians from the U.S. and Abroad
For information and assistance about performing in Canada, please contact:
Lily Kemeredin—email@example.com, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 221
Guide and Tips for AFM Musicians Traveling with their Instruments
Click here for AFM Flying Guide in Canada, prepared by American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada to help musicians with air travel logistics, including a review of passenger rights, what to consider before purchasing your ticket, packing and caring for instruments, and problem solving.
Click links below for baggage/special items information for major Canadian airlines:
For more information, contact:George Fiddler - Director of Immigration
Phone: 212 869-1330, ext. 231 Toll Free: 1 800 762-3444, ext. 231
Fax: 212 764-4974