Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
October 27, 2016IM -
USCIS Increases Artist Permit Fee: December 15, 2016 last day to Submit P-2 Visa Applications Under the Current Fee
As reported in late spring, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed an increase to the O and P visa petition fees. The AFM, along with is long-standing coalition of (US-based) nonprofit arts organizations, aggressively lobbied against the implementation of any increase. Despite those concerted efforts, late last week USCIS announced a substantial (42%) increase on O and P visa applications, from $325 US to $460 US.
The AFM of course recognizes that this increase adds a significant burden to its Canadian members, musicians worldwide, and to petitioners of artist permits such as the AFM.
On November 2,USCIS is holding a teleconference of its recognized stakeholders in the US nonprofit arts sector. The position and arguments of the AFM and others will be to urge USCIS to respond to its current lack of quality in service and to press for vast improvements and consistency in processing times—especially now that USCIS has increased the fee.
To avoid paying the new fee at this time, please submit completed P-2 applications to the AFM’s Canadian Office (CFM) ensuring receipt by that office no later than Monday, December 19, 2016. Applications received on or after December 20, 2016 will need to have the new fee ($460) included.
Also, please be reminded that at this time we are recommending 120 day’s/four month’s processing time (unless filing premium processing). The above timeline is an estimate, subject to be increased or decreased by USCIS, with no requirement on USCIS to provide petitioners advance notice of changes to processing times. AFM’s P-2 Administrative Team monitors USCIS processing progress weekly, in an effort to provide as solid a timeline as possible.
While it may be hard to believe, especially considering the processing time and fees, but for Canadians the USCIS artist visa process is much more simplified and less costly than it is for all other musicians across the globe who enter the US under the same permits.
For additional information and questions on the AFM’s lobbying initiatives to improve access to the US, or the AFM’s role as a petitioner of artist permits, please email Executive Director AFM/CFM Liana White (firstname.lastname@example.org).