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

 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

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

Liana White:, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333 - Extension 232

If you are an existing AFM member, please contact:

Lidia McGeown:, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) Extension 222
Michael White:, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) Extension 234

If you would like to come in to the AFM's Toronto office to review your completed application with an Artist Immigration Administrator, please make an appointment with either Lidia or Michael in advance of your visit. Otherwise, you are welcome to drop it off at the reception desk anytime during office hours. You may also send your complete application package to us by courier or Xpresspost. We do not accept applications by email or fax.


US Immigration reports a P2 processing backlog. To avoid delays submit your P2 package at least 90 - 100 calendar days before your first show.


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


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:

Cécile de Roland:, 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:

Cécile de, 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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