Canadian Artists Entering the US to Perform at CAFF-member Fringe Festivals

CAFF is aware of the challenges presented by US Immigration and is actively working with other arts service organization in Canada and the US to investigate legitimate ways for artists to enter the US. As we are up against US Immigration, this process will take a great deal of time and effort.

A few options do currently exist which Canadian artists can tap into to be able to legally enter the US to perform at CAFF-member Fringe Festivals.

  • Canadian Actors Equity Association (CAEA): Through CAEA’s reciprocal agreement with the US Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), members of CAEA can apply for P-2 Visas. From CAEA’s website:Under US Public Law 102-232, you are allowed to enter the United States to look for work within American Equity’s jurisdiction, thanks to our reciprocal agreement. Once you have been offered a job, you must apply for a P-2 Visa: write or call AEA, inform them of your intention to apply for the aforementioned P-2, and request that they send a letter to your engager. The engager must then provide the immigration office with your name, and the name and dates of the production.
  • Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM): CFM has a similar reciprocal relationship to Equity with the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).  Artists whose shows are predominantly musical could use these channels to apply for P-2 Visas. CFM lists the following as a service they offer their members:Handling visas for Canadian musicians through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It also administers the Cultural Exchange Visa program for American AFM members working in Canada.

Costs for P-2 Visas will vary from one organization to the next. The entire process may cost upwards of $3000.  To be eligible for this type of Visa filing assistance, an artist will also have to become a member of either Equity or CFM, which will be an additional fee.