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: Anyone traveling into the U.S. will require a COVID-19 test no more than 3 days before entry, and must provide proof of a negative result, or may provide documentation of recovery. This is an Order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 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 .
Re-Entry to Canada: 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) firstname.lastname@example.org, 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).
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:
If you are not yet an AFM member, or if you just joined AFM specifically to obtain a P2, please contact Cathy Lee at email@example.com.
If you are an existing AFM member, please contact the P2 Department:
Jill Léger—firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 222 or Kaitlyn Vleming—email@example.com, 416-391-5161 (toll free: 1 800 463-6333) ext. 234.
As of May 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will no longer issue paper I-94 Departure Records 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 departure records will still be issued at land ports of entry.
Read more about this procedure here: I-94 Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Foreign Entertainers with Previous Criminal Activity Entry/Performance in Canada
If it has been less than five years since a charge or conviction, persons will be deemed “criminally inadmissible” to Canada and a Temporary Resident Permit is required instead of filing for a work permit (LMO).
If the person has been:
Charged but not convicted: Temporary Resident Permit is NOT required.
Charged & Awaiting Trial - or - Warrant for Arrest: Temporary Resident Permit is required, but may not be granted until AFTER the conclusion of the trial.
On Parole: Five years after the completion of the parole period, the person may apply for Rehabilitation (explained further below).
If the offence committed was DUI in most situations, especially when a minimum of five years has not elapsed, persons are not deemed admissible, meaning a Temporary Resident Permit is required. To be certain, especially when there has been more than one DUI charge or if the accident was very serious (i.e. causing severe injury/death) a Canadian Consulate should be contacted as early as possible to ensure the Temporary Resident Permit is not necessary.
Crossing the Border with Musical Instruments and Gear
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. Learn more about ATA Carnets from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce: Canadian Chamber of Commerce - About the ATA Carnet or Information on US Customs and Border Protection.
In the absence of a Carnet, please prepare a manifest (list) of all instruments and gear, including serial numbers and make/model of instruments. If your instrument was purchased outside of Canada, bring the original bill of sale or include the following information on the manifest: the city, state/province, and country where the instrument was purchased. ________________________________________________________________________________
Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
The CFM offers Emergency Medical Travel Insurance at preferred rates through our Discount Savings Program with Union Savings/RBC and CanAm/HUB International Insurance exclusive to members and their families. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
B1 Business Class Visitor Visa
Canadians who are invited to the United States for certain services 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:
You are welcome to submit the B1 package by email to email@example.com at least 5 business days prior to entry date.
Musicians from Canada and abroad requiring union consultation for P1, P3 and, O1 permits must contact the AFM’s New York Office: George Fiddler–firstname.lastname@example.org,1 800 762 3444 ext. 231.
Performing in Canada for Musicians from the USA and Abroad
The Canadian government and the CFM (labour movement) are concerned about foreign workers being treated respectfully, paid fairly, and leaving our country better than when they came. To be able to monitor and inspect workplaces in Canada the government created the: Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program, and the International Mobility Program.
The International Mobility Program is the program utilized by the performing arts sector.
Below are different scenarios and processes for the foreign artist. Please review and use the appropriate process.
If a foreign artist is coming into Canada to work for 2 weeks or less, and working at many venues:
- An Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is not required under the International Mobility Program,
- A work permit is not required when they are working in Canada for a “Time-limited engagement”
- Contracts are required to be presented upon entry into Canada
- AFM members – are required to also present a cultural exchange letter from the CFM (AFM Canadian head office).
If a foreign artist is coming into Canada for longer than 2 weeks, is an American citizen and an AFM member but working for various purchasers
- CFM would write a Cultural Exchange letter for their tour,
- A work permit is required and may be approved for up to 3 months
- The first venue or promoter, or Canadian band leader would act as Employer and register through the Employer portal https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/partners-service-providers/employer-portal.html
If a foreign artist is coming into Canada for longer than 2 weeks, is an American citizen and working for one specific employer
- Then the employer registers with the Canadian government on the Employer Portal https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/hire-foreign-worker/temporary/international-mobility-program.html , pays the fee of $230 per foreign artist, and obtain an Employer offer number and receipt of payment.
- The employer then provides the foreign artist with the employer offer number and the receipt of payment issued by the Employer Portal. This document is shown to the border officers upon arrival at the Canadian border or airport, and allows the processing of the Canadian work permit.
- CFM will process a Cultural Exchange letter for AFM members and crew; or a similar type letter for non-AFM members.
- The foreign artist presents these documents along with passport and contract(s) to officer at the border and an employer specific work permit is obtained.
If the foreign artist is coming into Canada for longer than 2 weeks, from a country outside of North America and is working for one specific employer then the following process applies.
- The employer registers with the Canadian government on the Employer Portal https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/hire-foreign-worker/temporary/international-mobility-program.html remits payment of $230 per foreign artist, and obtains an Employer offer number and receipt of payment.
- The employer provides to the foreign artist these documents.
- The foreign artist should also assess their need for a Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (depending on the country they are traveling from. See this link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas-all.asp .
A foreign artist performing with a Canadian orchestra will have their Letter of Reciprocity requested through the employing Canadian orchestra.
For the most up-to date information about the International Mobility Program always go to the Canadian government site at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/hire-temporary-foreign/international-mobility-program.html
For information and assistance about performing in Canada, please contact:
Guide and Tips for AFM Musicians Traveling with their Instruments
Click here for AFM Flying Guide in Canada, prepared by American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada to help musicians with air travel logistics, including a review of passenger rights, what to consider before purchasing your ticket, packing and caring for instruments, and problem solving.
Click links below for baggage/special items information for major Canadian airlines:
For more information, contact:George Fiddler - Director of Immigration
Phone: 212 869-1330, ext. 231 Toll Free: 1 800 762-3444, ext. 231
Fax: 212 764-4974