P2 Visa Processing Delayed to 75 Days

Dear Members, Local Officers & Administrators:

I regret to advise that we have to increase the processing time for P2 applications yet again.   The time count as of this week is 75 calendar days for the most part.  We are continually receiving conflicting information from USCIS, some files are being approved more quickly than others, and a small handful of files are taking over 60 days after USCIS receives the package.  The best guarantee for approval is unfortunately the premium processing route.  In my email blast of one month ago, I advised that musicians could attempt congressional intervention, but as of the last few weeks now, the Vermont Congressional unit is denying congressional expedites and advising the individual should file premium processing [this is a first in 20 years, the process was basically flawless when done correctly up until now].

As for the applications that were submitted prior to this announcement, we are hoping they will be fine and again for the most part there shouldn't be many issues with those in the system.  I apologize for being so vague, but I/we cannot make 100{1d776386b9cb999ea5067fee5aa6c3c1db850fc0b970320d4605b640dd6750c1} commitments on behalf of a third party, especially one in a state of backlog.

The backlog at USCIS has had an impact on our administration as well, which is half of the reason for this increased processing time.  As I have explained in an earlier email, just about every file we have received since late June through August is requiring double the work and contact with USCIS.  The staff are trying to get back to everyone as quickly as possible on their inquires, but the priority is always given to the musicians that need to enter in any given week and do not have their approval yet.  Even in these cases, there are so many to follow up on every week that not everyone is responded to as quickly as may be required.

What we are doing to combat this situation:

  1. A meeting as been requested with USCIS Policy Makers, to discuss why their policy of expedited processing of artist permits is not being adhered to .  We are keeping record of all problems, especially those resulting in lost work and income.
  1. We have brought on additional, part time, contract administrators, to help with the administrative flow.  While we've had these individuals working with us for a little over a month now, it takes 6 months to be fully trained on the entire P2 process, so we've done accelerated training and we are now at the point that these individuals can start assisting with calls backs and communications to members.  As communication to members has definitely suffered and our usual level of customer service is not what it has been in past.  We are hoping all will see an improvement by next week by way of increased and more timely responses to inquiries.

Very sincerely,

Liana White

Executive Director

Canadian Federation of Musicians

150 Ferrand Drive, Suite #202

Toronto, Ontario  M3C3E5

(p) 416-391-5161/800-463-6333 ext 232

(f) 416-391-5165

lwhite@afm.org // www.cfmusicians.org // www.afm.org



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