Touring to the USA?
You need a Work Permit!
If you are a Canadian musician touring to the United States, your performances on US soil are treated like any other type of professional work, and the appropriate type of work permit is required. In most cases, the permit needed is a P2 Work Permit.
Failure to procure the appropriate work visa can lead to serious trouble with US Citizenship and Immigration Services. You can be effectively "black-listed" and denied any future entry into the United States.
The application package may be sent to the Toronto P2 office by courier or priority-post, or dropped off in person. All paperwork is carefully reviewed during the process of preparing the formal P2 petition on the artist’s behalf. If you would like to review your application package with a union representative, kindly email Jill at email@example.com or Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can arrange an in-person meeting if dropping off the application package, or meet via ZOOM prior to shipping the package to our office. For in person meetings, proof of vaccination is required by way of QR Code Certificate.
At least five (5) days prior to your entry to the United States, or, re-entry to Canada, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Ports of Entry, or, Customs/Pre Flight Inspection Units of your destinations, to determine the specific quarantine requirements of that given state or province. In general, please be advised as follows:
ENTRY TO THE UNITED STATES
Air Travelers to the United States: P2 visa holders are considered “essential workers.” As such, they do not need to be fully vaccinated until January 2022. However, all air travelers must show negative results from a Covid test which is not more than 24 hours old. When travelling to the U.S., Canadians can opt for the cheaper antigen test (about $30-$40), available at most Rexalls and Shoppers with an appointment.
Land Travelers to the United States: P2 visa holders are considered “essential workers.” As such, they do not need to be fully vaccinated until January 2022. If crossing via a land border, all travelers are no longer required to provide a negative Covid test.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has posted a list, which includes guidance for passengers who have had a COVID-19 vaccine, details on required documentation, self-quarantining after arrival, and more https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html#ExternalPopup.
As of January 2022, all travelers (air and land) to the U.S. must be fully vaccinated. All FDA-approved and authorized vaccines, as well as those that have an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization, are considered acceptable. Mixed vaccines are acceptable.
RE-ENTRY TO CANADA
All Travelers to Canada: Travelers will need to show negative results from a not more than three-day-old PCR test. This test is more expensive than the antigen test, which Canada does not accept. Non-vaccinated Canadians will need to quarantine for 14 days.
As of July 5, 2021, fully vaccinated Canadian Residents returning to Canada (by land or air) will no longer be required to quarantine. However, prior to their return, travelers must:
1. Submit their vaccine information using the ArriveCan app: (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html#a3) and have all the relevant documentation on hand.
2. Take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return. The documented proof of the COVID test result will be required by Canada customs as well.
3. Be prepared to submit to another, mandatory COVID-19 test upon arrival to Canada and have a quarantine plan in place in the event they test positive for COVID-19.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and children under the age of 12 will still be required to quarantine for 14 days immediately upon their return to Canada.
There is no process by which you are able to request/obtain an exemption from quarantine requirements, but you may send an email outlining your situation to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PACH) email@example.com, if there is an emergent reason why you are unable to meet quarantine requirements. Otherwise, it is our information that all travellers are required to adhere to the quarantine measures in place by the government(s) of their destination(s).
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). Also see—B1 Business class Visitor Visa.
Processing Times and Fees
The current Regular Processing rates will still apply: P-Visas $460 USD - recommended processing time 90 calendar days.
Premium Processing $2500 USD - processing time 15-21 business days. To apply for Premium Processing, you need to provide 2 separate money orders payable to "Department of Homeland Security" for $460 USD and $2,500 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:
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.
If you are not yet an AFM member, or if you just joined AFM specifically to obtain a P2, please contact Cathy Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
For more information on how to apply for a P2 work permit, please visit: https://cfmusicians.afm.org/services/work-permits