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.
November 1, 2020IM -
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that at least paused, for now, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plan to implement fee increases and new forms, which were originally scheduled to go into effect on October 2, 2020. USCIS has acknowledged the injunction, although Deputy Director of Policy Joseph Edlow called it “an unfortunate decision that leaves USCIS underfunded by millions of dollars each business day the fee rule is enjoined.”
The planned changes include increasing O visa fees from $460 to $705 and P visa fees from $460 to $695. For now, when filing for O and P guest artist visas, musicians should continue to file with the $460 filing fee, advises Liana White, executive director of the AFM Canadian Office.
The USCIS website for Form I-129 states that the department will accept USCIS forms with the current editions and current fees, and it will use the regulations and guidance currently in place to adjudicate applications and petitions. AFM’s immigration administrators are continually monitoring USCIS communications for the latest information before completing and submitting a visa petition, White says.
In other USCIS fee news, the signed legislation that ensures the US government is funded through December 11, 2020 included a section that authorizes USCIS to increase and expand the Premium Processing Service (PPS) fees for certain immigration-related applications. In most cases, the current $1,440 fee for premium processing is now authorized to increase to $2,500 and the O and P guest artist visas would fall into this category. The fee change went into effect on October 19.
The bill also authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish and collect a premium fee for “any other immigration benefit type that the secretary deems appropriate for premium processing,” and premium fees may be adjusted every two years.
The bill directs the secretary to develop processes that do not result in an increase in processing times for immigration benefit requests not designated for premium processing or an increase in regular processing of immigration benefit requests so designated.