Foreign Artist Resources
OPERA America supports the field by providing information and services related to visa and tax requirements for foreign guest artists. Such support includes:
  • Government advocacy addressing visa processing problems and delays at the USCIS
  • Educational resources, including the most up-to-date information on visa and tax requirements for foreign guest artists
  • Pre-petition peer consultation letters and guidance on navigating the visa process
  • Forums for members to share information and collaborate with other colleagues in the field

What’s at Stake
Due to the delays and unpredictability of visa processing by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), there is a continuing risk that foreign guest artists will be unable to enter the country in time for their performance engagements. Once an artist does receive a visa, the issue of tax withholdings for foreign guest artists must be addressed. Both the visa process and tax withholding requirements are complicated and require a tremendous amount of due diligence on the part of the sponsoring organization. OPERA America and its partner national service organizations in the Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) are paying close attention to these issues in an effort to best serve our members. OPERA America lobbies Congress each year to improve the visa process for foreign guest artists and is working to clarify and assist members with the tax withholding requirements.

Tools and Resources
Artists From Abroad
Artists From Abroad is the most complete guide on visa and tax requirements for engaging foreign guest artists. Created by the League of American Orchestras and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Artists From Abroad is an online resource for foreign guest artists, their managers and performing arts organizations. Please check the News section for the updates on filing procedures, fee increases and other information to avoid delays.

Information in the Career Guide for Opera
Visa Information for Canadian Singers: Studying and Working in the U.S., compiled by Nick Olcott, Maryland Opera Studio
Visa Processing for Foreign Guest Artists, webinar with Jonathan Ginsburg and Andi Floyd, FTM Arts Law; Amy Fitterer, moderator

Contact OPERA America
OPERA America provides guidance and technical assistance to opera companies, artists and managers on the visa process. For assistance or questions concerning the visa process, please contact Brandon Gryde, director of government affairs, at BGryde@operaamerica.org.
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