Work Permits

Jump to: Information on Performing in Canada for Musicians from the U.S. and Abroad
Jump to: Important Information on Crossing the U.S. Border
Jump to: Information on P1, P3 and O Work Permits


U.S. Work Permits for Canadian Musicians

***US Immigration recently increased the P2 fee to $460 USD and will no longer accept the old fee


Regular Processing: Submit your P2 package to CFM *at least 120 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.

NOTE: When you submit a P2 application; you do so at your own risk. US Immigration processing times are out of AFM's control and may increase/decrease at any time, without notice. Our recommended submission timelines are based on observed average processing times.

 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). For some unpaid work, musicians may be eligible to enter the U.S. under B1 status.

For specific information on what you will require and to download the application package, please see the links below:

We suggest DOWNLOADING these files to your hard drive BEFORE filling them out. Click to open the files and then save or right click and choose "Save Target As..."  (All files are .pdf format). We recommend downloading and using the latest version of Adobe Reader to fill out and save the files. Get the latest version here. To save filled-out forms in Adobe Reader, choose "Save As..." and enter a new file name.


P2 - Instructions for Completing a P2 Application

P2 - Checklist

P2 - Application Form (Parts 1 - 4)

P2 - Part 5 (Support Crew)

P2 - Part 6 (Single Performer)

P2 - Part 6 (2 or More Performers)

P2 - Tour Itinerary (Only Necessary When Performing at Multiple Venues)

P2 - Travel Engagement Contract (T2C FORM)

P2 – Information for Permanent Residents of Canada (NON-CITIZENS, formerly known as Landed Immigrants)

P2 - Replacement Musician Application

P2 - After your P2 is Approved

If you are not yet an AFM member, or, if you just joined AFM specifically to obtain a P2, please contact:

Cathy Lee:, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333 - Extension 231

If you are an existing AFM member, please contact:

Jill Léger:, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) Extension 222 or Natcha, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) Extension 234

If you want to come to the AFM's Toronto office to review your completed application with an Artist Immigration Administrator, please make an appointment with either Jill or Natacha in advance. Otherwise, you are welcome to drop it off at the reception desk anytime during office hours, or mail your P2 application package by courier or Xpresspost. We do not accept applications by email or fax.


Beginning in May 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will no longer issue paper I-94 cards 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 cards will still be issued at land ports of entry.

Read more about the new procedures here: U.S. Customs and Border Protection's I-94 Automation Fact Sheet and here: I-94 Frequently Asked Questions


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.

CLICK HERE for More Details on Temporary Resident Permits 


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.

Find out more about ATA Carnets from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Canadian Chamber of Commerce - About the ATA Carnet


The AFM offers access to Emergency Medical Travel Insurance at preferred rates. Members under 55 may purchase an 18-day multi-trip annual plan for $90.00 CDN on a guaranteed-issue basis. This program is administered by CanAm Insurance in collaboration with HUB International. Coverage is underwritten by Manulife Financial. Please call (877) 292-0081 to make inquiries and to purchase a plan.

Showcases/ B1 Entry

Canadians who are invited to showcase in the United States 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:, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) Extension 221

Fax: 416-391 5165

P1, P3 and O Visa Applications

Musicians from Canada and abroad requiring union consultation for P1, P3 and, O1 permits must contact the AFM’s New York Office: 1 800 762 3444 ext 231, or email Michael Manley ( or Elizabeth Blake ( 

Jump to: U.S. Work Permits for Canadian Musicians

Performing in Canada for Musicians from the U.S. and Abroad

For information about performing in Canada, please consult the Foreign Artists Info Sheet:

Foreign Artists Info Sheet

For additional information and assistance please contact:

Lily, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) Extension 221

Travel Tips for AFM Musicians Traveling with their Instruments

Click the links below for baggage/special items information for major Canadian airlines:

Air Canada - Musical Instruments

WestJet - Special Items

Porter - Baggage Information

Bearskin Airlines - Baggage Policy

Below is useful information for musicians flying with their instruments. If you are an AFM member please sign in or register on the AFM site for access to the following Links:

 The TSA Letter and Letter of Explanation
 Baggage info for all major airlines
 Travel Tips


For more information, contact:

Michael Manley - Director
Phone:  212 869-1330, ext. 231
Fax: 212 764-4974
George Fiddler - Contract Administrator
Phone: 212 869-1330, ext. 230
Fax: 212 764-4974

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