Although it's not quite the end of 2016, we're already thinking about SXSW 2017. Don't hesitate to get in contact if you or your associates are planning to head over to Austin, Texas for the festival on March 10-19, and need some assistance with your visa.
We also offer free advice, so give us a call if you have any questions.
We're already working with the up and coming band Dream Wife which are due to perform at SXSW.
The holidays are coming up but don't worry, we've got your back.
We'll be processing US visas right up to Christmas eve and during the gap between Christmas and New Year if anyone needs a visa due to the touring schedules!
In October, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced that visa processing fees for international touring groups were to rise by up to 600 per cent coming into force in November.
Although the application fee has been removed and the processing fee reduced for overseas touring organisations, the group discount has been discarded. Without this cap in place, large tours would see a massive increase in their visa fees While smaller touring parties would certainly benefit.
With such a hike in fees, the Australian music industry are fearful as it’s likely to suggest that many live acts will abandon down under performances altogether. The Chief Executive of Live Performance Australia (LPA) Evelyn Richardson stated:
“This is a massive money grab by the Government, which is being introduced under the guise of a new online visa processing system that is supposed to cut red tape and streamline visa approvals.”
“The world-renowned Bluesfest held each year at Byron Bay attracts a strong contingent of international performers. In addition to the festival event, many of the touring acts also do side shows in capital cities or regional areas. Under the new charges, the visa processing fee for the organisers of Bluesfest have soared by 600 per cent to $55,000. Other festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival face visa fee increases of more than 200 per cent for their international artists.”
“These new fees add significantly to the cost of touring Australia, and will act as a major disincentive for international artists to come here compared to opportunities in other markets.
“Australians who go to a live performance event or who work in the industry will be the biggest losers under this new scheme, as well as those who work in local tourism and hospitality businesses especially in regional communities. The system is now in place and we are interested to see how this will affect our clients and their future touring plans.
As of December 24th the cost for U.S petitions are rising for O+P visas.
Give us a call or email us to get your visas in and avoid the higher rates!
Going to the US for SXSW?
It’s that time of year again, crisp mornings, blackberries on the hedgerows, leaves to be raked when the thoughts of every keen young (and not so young!) band turn to the wide open spaces of Texas and whether they are going to bag a slot at SXSW.
The question of whether non-US performers need to have a work visas to play at SXSW is a complicated one and has caused quite a bit of confusion over the years.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are several US government agencies involved in the visa process and they don’t always interpret the rules and guidelines in the same way.
Ultimately, the final decision as to whether performers are admitted to the US comes down to the CBP (border) officer at the port of entry. It’s at this point they will either be admitted to the US, or turned around and sent home.
SXSW has taken advice on this and their current position is this;
If you are coming to the US to perform at an official SXSW showcase and undertake no other performances, either paid or unpaid, then you do not require a work visa and you can enter on visa waiver (ESTA) or visitor visa.
The legal basis for the argument hinges on the assumption that performances for official SXSW showcases are ‘touting for work’ rather than actual work. However, many acts who go to SXSW also want to perform at non official shows and end up being invited to do other shows while there.
If you don’t have work visas then you risk being refused admission at the border on arrival if CBP suspect that you intend to work. If you have performances outside of official SXSW showcases advertised– they will know, especially is its right there on your website and social media, as they will simply Google you in the first instance! You are also likely to have problems travelling to the US moving forward if you are unfortunate enough to be sent home.
We understand that US visas are a big expense, particularly for new acts and we always try and get the longest visa validity possible for our clients to give maximum ‘bang for your buck’
Hellooooooo! Welcome to the all-new Viva La Visa website!
Many of you will already know us by our old name, Re-Production but great to meet you if you’ve not worked with us before! Although our name has changed, we’re still the same friendly bunch of visa experts you know and love! Andy, Hannah, Kerry and Becca are all based up in the picturesque Suffolk countryside with our pet chooks and Colin the Labrador for company (pictures may well follow!) Kayleigh is now living in the big smoke working out of our London office over in Wandsworth.